The Coolest Schools in the World

Today, World Architecture News unveiled the finalists for it’s Educational Building of the Year, and it’s an impressive lot, designed to solve real problems. Here’s a round-up of the six competitors:


The Australian Technical College, designed by Spowers, sits in an extreme climate. But it doesn’t have air conditioning. Rather, it’s cooled by natural ventilation and an underground canal that funnels naturally cool air around the building:


High in the Himalayas, in Northern India, the Druk White Lotus school was commissioned by the Dalai Lama himself. Designed by Arup, it’s a mashup of traditional and high-tech building materials. In addition to locally sourced stone, mud bricks, timber and grass, the outside walls were covered in “leaves” of granite, that allow the building to last longer, while keeping the building cool in direct sunlight:

11107_1_Druk White Lotus School 2 Christian Richters
11107_3_Druk White Lotus School 4 Christian Richters

Britain’s Hazelwood School, designed by Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop Architects, caters to children with visual, sensory, and motor impairments. The school’s main artery is lined with a “sensory wall” which helps the students orient themselves, while a “trailing board” guides the visually impaired:


The Hong Kong Community College, by AD+RG, was inspired by Jenga. By conceiving the floors as individual blocks and twisting them, the architects created sky gardens on every floor, while increasing cross breezes that keep the building cool:


Jåttå Vocational School, by Henning Larsen, was designed to fit new models for learning. Larger lecture halls are surrounded with much smaller rooms, for more personalized lessons:


METI School in Bangladesh, by Anna Heringer Architecture, aims to make learning whimsical and fun. Some classrooms are connected by cave. Bamboo shutters throughout allow breezes to waft across the building: