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8 Essentials For Great School Buildings


Wouldn't it be amazing if our children's school buildings oozed learning and creativity? Recently I fell in love with the buildings at Clayton Early Learning and Denver School for Science and Technology (DSST) at Stapleton. They got me thinking, what are the elements in the best-designed school buildings? 

1. Natural light - lots of it.

2. Visible green outdoor spaces to play, walk, and relax.
Look at this amazing design for a greened-up French school

3. Open spaces -- no hallways.
When I spoke with the founder of DSST, David Greenberg, he said that prior to building, the school interviewed the students to find what they wanted in a school. The kids all voiced their hatred of hallways and asked for something like pods and large open spaces.  
You'll want to see the open spaces this school, The School for Creative & Performing Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio as well as Panther Lake Elementary School in Federal Way, Washington.

4. Color consideration.
I prefer neutral or white colors and natural materials. Research reveals that different ages respond differently to colors.
Click to see a beautiful Austrian kindergarten that has it all! 

5. Eco-friendly.
Read more about Green School construction

6. Spaces for teachers.
In a recent Education Week article, I learned about "the Kirkkojärvi School teachers’ lounge has a built-in coffee bar and cafe tables, where the principal serves coffee and tea during breaks." Now that sounds nice!

7. High-quality playgrounds.
Better playgrounds reduce discipline problems. Darell Hammond of KaBoom! shares ten great playgrounds on Huffington Post. 

8. Non-institutional cafeterias.
The School Food Trust creates better lunch rooms, you'll want to see their designs. 

Read more about the innovative school buildings in Finland .
Read the research on building design on learning. 
See a BBC slideshow of best school buildings .

What else would you want in your dream school building?
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