Spatial Planning and Design as Teaching Methods in Contemporary School Building Architecture

Tánczos Tibor DLA
Szabó Levente DLA
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Not only is the education system facing serious issues in hungary, but, in many cases, the process itself of designing school buildings is also founded on centuries-old and outdated concepts. The purpose of this research is to compile contemporary principles that both reflect the societal criteria and educational goals of the new millennium as well as – among others – motivate learning, promote self-action, and contribute to community building. As this work endeavors to call attention to its social and educational context, a link is made to the current professional discourse on educational and public policy, which is characterized by the notion of life long learning.

This thesis is the result of a three-year, intensive research effort employing primarily sources that are concentrated on evidence-based design and the scientific approach of environmental psychology. in order to provide a valid and multidimensional exposition on the topic, the author has supported the thesis with numerous on-site observations, interviews and experiences from his own project as well as with case studies, whose content is illustrated with analytic diagrams.

As a result of the analysis of international educational building architecture, this dissertation reveals spatial and form planning patterns that are becoming increasingly important worldwide; not only in the case of school buildings, but also for many other types of facilities. one of these trends is the growing importance of smaller, and thus, more humanly scaled organizational and spatial units in larger institutions which promote efficiency and community building. on the other hand, traditional corridor-cell type buildings are gradually superseded by more open, diverse and “landscape-like” spaces that reinforce communication among users while supporting their creative work.

The case studies analyzed also show that, in addition to designers’ conscious choice of values, the work method and the nature of the design process also significantly affect the architectural appearance of the completed educational building. This dissertation concludes that in order to achieve a socially beneficial architectural character which also communicates a democratic, tolerant and positive world view to a broad spectrum of social groups, it is essential to foster an open and attentive design process.