2009 Open Architecture Challenge heats up
Eight international teams have been recognized as finalists of the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom. The competition is hosted by charity Architecture for Humanity and principal partner Orient Global in collaboration with a consortium of other partners around the world. Over 1,000 design teams from 65 countries registered for the competition with hundrends following through over the four month entrance period.
The scheme invited the architecture, design and engineering community to collaborate directly with students and teachers to rethink the classroom of the future. Designers entering the competition were given a simple mandate: collaborate with real students in real schools in their community to develop real solutions which would be judged on feasibility, sustainability, innovation in learning and overall design quality by a team of interdisciplinary online jurors.
From a longlist of 52, 8 designs have been chosen and will be whittled down to the eventual winner announced in September. The winning team will be rewarded with US$ 5,000 and the selected partner school will receive up to US$50,000 to realize their design.
The Blurred Classroom, Gensler, New York, NY, United States
Teton Valley Community School, Section Eight Design, Victor, ID, United States
Teksing Bamboo school, Petr Kostner, Sona Huberova and Martina Sobotkova, Czech Republic
Classroom for the Salt Pan Community, Rajesh Kapoor, Prashant Solanky, Bharat Karamchandani and Kiran Vaghela, Gujurat, India
A Sustainable Community Classroom for Uganda, Chris Soley, Farah Naz, Hayley Maxwell, Edward Crammond and Jessica Robinson of Gifford LLC, United Kingdom
Extending the Classroom, Built Form Architecture, North Western University Settlement House, Chicago, IL, United States
Justified Architecture in a Landscape of Transition, Architectura Justa, Bogota, Colombia
Adaptable Hillside Classrooms, Andrew Macintosh, Matthew Brown, Nilufer Kocabas of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Buro Happold, United Kingdom
Worldwide, 776 million people are illiterate. With less than six years left to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, the World Bank estimates ten million new classrooms are needed to reach its target equal access to primary education. In addition, tens of millions of crumbling facilities—including many in the United States—are in urgent need of upgrading. Meeting this need for classroom space will constitute the largest building project the world has ever undertaken. The world will need to spend in excess of US$ 100 billion just to meet current demand for classrooms.
Serving as a catalyst to build safe, sustainable and smart educational facilities around the world, the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge has created an online portfolio of design solutions, all licensed under Creative Commons and viewable at www.openarchitecturenetwork.org School districts, independent schools and social entrepreneurs from around the world can now download, adapt and replicate these ideas in their current and future learning environments. Beyond the awarded funds, three building partners, Rumi Schools of Excellence in India, Building Tomorrow in Uganda and Blazer Industries with The Modular Building Institute in the United States have committed to build classrooms based on selected designs. An international travelling exhibition is set to launch in the autumn.