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THE LARGEST ARCHITECTURAL TEAMS OF THE WORLD WILL DEVELOP DESIGN CONCEPTS FOR SMART SCHOOL

Organizers of the Smart School project held competitive negotiations to select six of the world’s best architectural studios, one of which will develop the architectural design of the first school in Russia with the space organized to implement the idea of a unique educational system. The final qualifying stage of the Competition took place on April 6 and the winner will be determined on June 30.

 

The Smart School educational complex  will be built on the outskirts of Irkutsk on the Angara River bank. The structure will include 37 buildings: a primary school and a secondary school, a kindergarten, a housing settlement for foster families, a culture and leisure center with an administrative unit, a sports facility and training workshops.

 

49 architectural teams from 26 countries took part in the competition. The architectural competition was organized by Strelka KB (the consulting division is the main organizer of the Competition).

 

“This is the first time an architectural competition in Russia has attracted such remarkable participants. Normally even global contests for school design are rarely attended by strong teams. But the concept of architecture as an educational tool offered by  Smart School has become a real challenge for modern architecture. That is why we received such a strong response from candidates invited to take part in the Competition,” says Varvara Melnikova, the Strelka Institute CEO.

 

Six participants that qualified for the final selection have been given the opportunity to prove the advantages of their approaches and to offer the brightest and most technologically advanced architectural projects. The finalists were WORK ARCHITECTURE COMPANY (USA); CEBRA (Denmark); ARCHITECTS RUDANKO (Finland); MKPL ARCHITECTS PTE (Singapore); SOU FUJIMOTO ARCHITECTS (Japan); and MVRDV (Netherlands).

 

By the end of May each of the teams is to prepare a detailed architectural and space-planning solution of the Smart School educational complex. On June 30 the jury will choose the best solution, and the winner of the competition will be commissioned to create a draft design. In the future the design and working documentation for construction will be developed in cooperation with Russian consultants who will assist with  the compliance with Russian construction and sanitary specifications and requirements during the design development.

 

“Children studying at the School will try themselves in different kinds of activities and in various social roles. It means that the School space itself should provide the opportunity for such educational trips,” said Mark Sartan,  the Smart School CEO. “The teams that we selected have already presented six unique concepts, the best of which will be implemented in real life.”

 

The model of the School includes the construction of separate buildings and special facilities within a single complex. There will be various conditions provided allowing the child to develop the need for regular exercise and taking part in sporting activities, as well as to relax, attend outdoor activities, plant fruit and vegetables, and create a landscape design. The territory adjacent to the academic buildings is divided into zones in accordance with age characteristics of the students.

 

The Educational Complex opening is scheduled for 2018.

 

The project is financed by the Novy Dom Charity Fund. The total investment amounts to 3.5 billion rubles. The main purpose of the Smart School is to create an efficient mechanism for comprehensive education that develops the ability to make an unbiased  choice for a path in life. Within the project it is planned to integrate children deprived of parental care into the educational process on an equal basis with all other students. Subsequently they are to be allocated to foster families.

 

Strelka KB is a consulting division of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, which became a separate company in late 2013. The abbreviation KB stands for Konstruktor Budushchego (A Designer of the Future) in Russian. The division specializes in strategic consulting in architecture, urban planning, cultural and spatial programming. Strelka KB is the organizer and originator of some of the most significant projects in Russia, such as the International Competition for the Landscape and Architectural Concept of Zaryadye Park, the International Competition of Architectural Concepts for the museum and exhibition complex of the State Center for Contemporary Art, and the concept of the redevelopment of Gorky Park.
 
The Smart School design implies a space for a broad public discussion on education. It was initiated by Tina Kandelaki in August 2011. In 2013 the construction of the Smart School educational cluster in the Irkutsk region started. It is planned to build a unique educational complex where children with different educational, emotional and psychological and physiological characteristics will study.
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