Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Architecture for New Education

Beehive Montessori School, stage 1 by Architects EHDOIn Perth, Western Australia, yesterday, I met up with Dimitri Kapetas, architect from practice EHDO, who told me about their design for the Beehive Montessori School at Mosman Park. This is described as a "village", with two phases of development. The first is a library and multi-purpose hall funded by the BER economic stimulus package. The second stage is to incrementally replace the existing buildings. incrementally until it is replaced.

What stuck me some time ago while reading about Montessori schools was that their educational philosophy is simialr to that now being applied for adult learners at unviersity and vocational institutions. Even those schools not professing the Montessori approach are building open flexible, multi-purpose spaces for student directed learning. The same designs for schools can also be applied to post secondary education.

What impressed me, perhaps even more than EHDO's architecture, was their web site. Architects usually have very poor web sites, produced with Flash, with numerous high resolution images and very little useful information. In contrast I found EHDO's worked on an iPhone and iPad, as well as a desktop browser. A W3C validation test, reported the home page was in HTML5, with no errors.

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