The pressure is on around the globe to produce high-caliber students at every grade level and to support the needs of all children. Increasing numbers of educators and school boards are inviting innovative architects to help them rethink the learning environment (and in light of the recent tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, much of this rethinking will no doubt revolve around security issues). The schools showcased here, filled with daylight and flexible spaces, represent the best of such collaborative efforts. By breaking down traditional assumptions and configurations in school architecture, design teams are not only responding to current societal demands and teaching methods, they are also laying the groundwork for potential changes in the future. Comfortable and stimulating, these facilities have been planned to accommodate the work and play necessary for our kids to thrive and grow. — Linda C. Lentz

Case Studies

Case Studies
We look at exemplary K-12 projects that use design to create better classroom spaces, improve performance, and shape school culture.

Pictured: Blair International Baccalaureate Middle School; Photo Kevin Tittle

REED Academy, Oakland, New Jersey

Handled With Care
As schools for students with autism move from makeshift or retrofitted quarters to new buildings tailored to their specific programs, architects and educators focus on what makes the best places for learning.

Pictured: REED Academy Oakland, New Jersey; Photo © Albert Vecerka/ESTO

School Supplies

School Supplies
Flexible new furnishings for K12 auditoriums and classrooms, and a look at the building envelopes that helped two new schools meet their sustainability goals.

Pictured: Verb Classroom Furnishings

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