Architectural concept



Smart School is not only  foretype of the new  education system in Russia, but also the implementation of the idea of architecture influencing educational achievement.


The Smart School educational complex will be built in Irkutsk on the bank of the Angara River on the area of 21 hectares between the Baikalskaya Street,  Chertugeevsky Gulf and the city boundary, which is about 60 kilometers away from Lake Baikal.





The smooth transition between the internal and external space in the school building will contribute to the unique learning environment.. The educational complex itself is fitted into the environment and has various public spaces. There are various types of premises for different teaching styles and activities where the size of rooms, arrangement of seats and desks, lighting, background noise insulation, etc. vary. According to project designers, an improved educational environment and, consequently, high educational  achievements are possible when students and teachers work in a diverse space where everyone can find a place for himself or herself and select his or her own learning route.





An architectural concept based on the program and principles of Smart School integrates buildings, a plot of land and the surrounding urban community into a complete, diverse and  stimulating learning environment, a "school park".  School life takes place not only on specialized premises, but also in open areas inside and around buildings.


The educational complex in Irkutsk will include several dozens of buildings: from a kindergarten, middle and high school to a housing development for adoptive families. There will be a leisure and cultural center, a sports center, training workrooms and laboratories, as well as a library. Overall, the number of students will exceed one thousand. education will be free.





In 2015 an international competition for developing the architectural concept of the educational complex in Irkutsk was announced. 49 teams from 26 countries took part in it. Finalists included Work Architecture Company (the USA), Cebra (Denmark), Architects R+K And Studio Puisto (Finland), Mkpl Architects Pte (Singapore), Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan) and Mvrdv (the Netherlands). CEBRA architecture office (Denmark) was the winner of the architecture competition organized by KB Strelka.





According to Mark Sartan, the project leader, Smart School will become an incubator for ideas, technologies, projects and practices which  and will enable educators to raise a generation of active, ambitious and creative people. Besides, this will contribute to the educational system and the social sphere of the region and of the country, and promote the growth of human potential which is the main resource of Russia.


The cost of project implementation will exceed 58 million U.S. dollars. The construction will start in the fourth quarter of 2017, while the school is expected to open on September 1, 2019.