Ever heard the expression “too cool for school”? Well, these schools are too cool for you! Designed by visionary architects and innovative educators, these are the coolest schools of the world. Here, you’ll want to attend every day!
10) Fuji Yochien, Tokyo, Japan
Fuji Yochien is a preschool located in the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan designed by Tokyo-based firm Tezuka Architects.
‘The Ring Around a Tree’ structure is built around the massive Zelkova trees in the campus.
Students are encouraged to use ropes to climb the trees up to their classrooms.
This is in line with the school's philosophy of 'Don't Coddle and Don't Protect."
Fuji Kindergarten believes exposing children to small doses of danger makes them stronger and more resilient.
There are no classrooms because there are no rooms. There are no boundaries separating indoor and outdoors.
The architect, Takaharu Tezuka, designed the building to be elliptical because of children's tendency to run in circles.
Children are given the freedom to explore, run around and make their own decisions instead of restraining their natural energy.
Because they run so much, students of Fuji Kindergarten are more athletic than their counterparts
Source: www.e-architect.co.uk Photograph: Katsuhisa Kida
9) Vittra Telephonplan, Stockholm, Sweden
Vittra is a modern primary school is designed by Rosan Boschin and located in Stockholm, Sweden.
The unique and colorful interior design is intended to stimulates the student's creativity and curiosity.
The school believes it needs different environments for different styles of learning.
For example, this cave is designed for student's for concentration and contemplation.
Comfort and leisure is essential, so students can lounge around as they please.
There is even a little cinema for presentations.
In Vittra, there are no classes or classrooms. Instead, students are taught in groups with their own personal curriculum. Teacher's don't even give grades!
The teachers state that their lessons have a free flow improvisational nature.
Each student has their own personal laptop and online module.
The open environment encourages collaboration and interaction.
8) Makoko Floating School, Lagos, Nigeria
Makoko Floating School was a floating structure, built by NLE architects and located on the lagoon heart of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos.
Makoko is one of the largest slums in Lagos and has a self-sustaining aquatic community that is experiencing dire poverty.
The government view it as 'a festering eyesore' has been attempting to violently evict the community and tear down their residences.
Thus, Makoko Floating School was seen as "at once iconic and pragmatic" because how it served the poor children of the community in a 'sustainable' and environmental friendly fashion.
It was seen as an alternative to destruction of slums for new development. It symbolized elevating rather erasing the poor.
The base of the structure is built upon 256 recycled floating barrels.
It's triangle frame allows many levels and a low center of gravity so it could withstand high winds.
The classrooms are on the second level where the natural ventilation provides cool air and shade.
The floating school even uses PV cells on the roof and a rainwater system to boost sustainability.
It's innovative design was aimed at allowing the children to open their minds and hearts.
Unfortunately, the school collapsed due to heavy rain fall and a combination of neglect and disrepair. This is a replica situated in Venice.
Source: www.designboom.com Copyright: NLE Architects
7) XiaoQuan Elementary School, Sichuan, China
XiaoQuan Elementary School is designed by Tao Architects and located in Sichuan, China.
It was built after the devastating 2008 Sichuan Earthquake destroyed the original building.
The concept of the school was to be a 'micro city' with all the spatial compositions of the urban landscape of Sichuan.
Thus, it has streets, courtyards, plazas and steps, all to give children a sense of familiarity for the children.
Rather than overwrite the past, it is meant to be an 'urban space memory', a continuation of the destroyed XiaoQuan town.
The diversity of the landscape is meant to stimulate the spontaneity and curiosity of it's students.
It has various playful little corners, small labyrinths and passages for the children to play in.
The school is also designed to adapt to Sichuan's hot and humid climate.
It makes use of sunshade devices, natural ventilation and heat reduction properties.
Furthermore in line with it's continuation of memory, it utilized recycled brick and concrete from the town's earthquake.
Source: www.designboom.com Photographer: Yao Li
6) Abedian School of Architecture, Sydney Australia
Bond University's Abedian School of Architecture is located in Queensland Australia and built by CRAB.
It's environmentally sustainable design is intended to combat the region's hot climate.
The vertical columns protect students from direct sunlight of the blistering Australian sun.
The concrete scoops offers both air circulation and a cozy spot for studies.
However, it's ingenious design still heavily utilizes natural sunlight while also avoiding glare and overheating.
Classrooms and communal areas are all brightly lit by sunlight.
The bright and colorful furniture and style gives the building a sense of theater and intrigue.
This creates an environment that is both functional and dynamic to inspire the future architects.
Source: www.designboom.com Photographer: Peter Bennet
5) Floating in the Sky School for Orphans, Sangkhlaburi Village, Thailand
Kikuma Watanabe is a primary school located in Shangkhaburi village, Thailand, near the border of Myanmar.
The area has a large amount of orphans and children from poor immigrant families.
The concept originated when teachers asked students to draw the school of their dreams. One of them drew a flying space ship.
Thus, the concept was translated Kikuma Watanabe, a Japanese architect who specializes in earth structures, especially in developing communities.
The bottom of the school consists of two large earthbag domes serving as launching pads supplying the ship with energy from mother earth.
While the upper light steel and bamboo structure is the ship that is soaring in the sky.
A gentle breeze flows through the thatched roof, making the floating level light and breezy as a ship.
Source: worldarchitecture.org Copyright: Kikuma Watanabe
4) Visserhok Container Classroom, Capetown, South Africa
Vissershok Primary School is a rural school located in the rolling hills of Durbanville wine valley on the outskirts of Cape Town.
It is dedicated to the underpriviliged children of farm-workers of the poverty stricken community.
The colorful 12 meter recycled container was converted into an independent classroom that provides students with a safe and secure environment.
However, containers are infamous for being extremely hot. Thus, there is a naturally ventilating roof that deflects excessive sunlight.
In South Africa, a number of schools are in desperate need of appropriate facilities to deal with their underfunded and overcrowded situation.
Hence, this innovative design by Marshaarn Brink and Tsai Design Studio is a creative solution.
The container is multifunctional, in the morning, it is a classroom for younger students. In the afternoon it is a library for all the students.
Source: www.archdaily.com Copyright: Tsai Design Studio
3) Ny Krohnborg School, Bergen, Norway
The Ny Krohnborg school in Bergen, Norway designed by Rambøll Norge and Arkitektgruppen Cubus AS is an excellent case study in urban revitalization.
The original community saw little participation between it's resident.
The school was a result of a collaboration of ideas between the city council and the architecture firms.
The resulting school served to strengthen both the social structure and the identity of the neighbourhood.
It's colorful and vibrant appearance reflects the optimism and energy of the revitalized neighborhood.
Ny Krohnborg school's heavy use of glazing allows student's to gaze upon the lovely distant landscapes.
The sports hall is open to the public after hours and popular arena for outdoor sports and activities in the evening.
Now, it doesn't just act as a school but also a vibrant neighborhood center.
Source: www.archdaily.com Copyright: Hundven-Clements Photography
2) Loop Kindergarten, Tianjin, China
LOOP kindergarten in Tianjin, China is designed by Tokyo-based architecture firm Sako Architects.
The cute Colosseum stands in stark contrast to the industrial buildings that surround it.
Like it's namesake, the entire structure is formed with one big loop, there is not a single sharp corner in the kindergarten!
It is covered with multi-colored airplane style window sills.
This way, teachers are able to keep an eye out on students as they play freely in the open courtyard no matter the angle.
The school makes heavy use of bright colors to help students identify their location.
Each color represents a location. For example red may represent the nurse office.
Students have access to large open areas where they are free to play and explore.
There is even a rooftop garden where students can enjoy the fresh air.
Source: www.archdaily.com Photographer: Misae Hiromatsu
1) Green School, Bali, Indonesia
Environmentalists and designers John and Cynthia Hardy established The Green School in the middle of the lush jungles of Bali, Indonesia.
This environmental friendly campus was awarded Greenest School on Earth by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Almost all the structures including classrooms, gyms and cafes are made entirely of bamboo.
The Green School is powered by a number of alternative energy sources such as bamboo sawdust hot water, a hydro-powered vortex generator and solar panels.
Here everything is green, food is cooked with sawdust fuel from a local bamboo farm and lunch is served in straw baskets with banana leaf linings.
There is even a food-generating aquaponics facility, farms for pigs, chickens, ducks and rabbits and an aviary for the endangered Bali starling
Students are mostly from families of affluent Western expats seeking a more holistic education for their children.
This school doesn't just prepare students for college, it also teaches them survival skills to adapt to the unknown.
It aims to produce students who are passionate and engaged in the natural environment.
Students even participate in projects like building hydro-solar power systems with universities, lobbying reduction of plastic use to the government and attend U.N. climate conferences.
Sources: www.newyorktimes.com/www.archdaily.com Photographer: Jeremy Piper
They may not be as cool as these schools but Malaysia has plenty of cool schools too! Check them out at our
university and international school pages.