The Porter School of Environmental Studies by Geotectura + Chen Architects + Axelrod Grobman Architects

This building was built according to principles of green design and achieved a LEED Platinum, the first building in Israel. The project is a living lab of ecological and social values for the community and the environment. It tells the story of the complex sustainability term and simplifies it to the public by strolling along the eco-wall, the ground floor and the roof that present current research of energy, water, soil, vegetation, materials and so on that they can see, touch and learn.

Bamboo was used extensively in this building as a green resource as it is a grass with wood characteristics. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth (up to 1 meter per day in tropical regions!).

Bamboo was used in this project as parquet on the bridges, as the inner skin of the “capsule”, as the walls inside and out at the looby, as the decking on the roof and as shutters on the cube hanging from the building.

Implementation: Kne’kash

The bamboo we use is manufactured to comply with Green Building Standards in order to reduce the overall impact of construction and building on human health and the natural environment. New technologies are constantly being developed in order to create greener materials from rapidly renewing sources to be applied in green building projects.

Stefan-Andres school by Harter+Kanzler Architekten

On the site of the Stefan-Andres school in Schweich the school building it self as well as a canteen have been built. At the same time the city of Schweich erected a public centrum. The synergetic effect is that the school canteen and the public room can be joined for an audience up to 500 people.
Characteristic element of the new building is the façade with concrete parts on the ground level underlining the horizontal pattern of the structure. From the street view the building seems to float. Closed façade parts have been cladded with large ALUCOBOND® panels. All metal surfaces show a dark anodized look, optically seeming to be suppressed. Thus the horizontal layout is supported again. Dark metal lamellas create a continuous pattern all around the building, being superimposed by brighter ones (symbolizing different social groups).
The multilayered façade brings different transparency levels, thus creating a diversified image to the beholder

Location: Stefan-Andres-Straße 1, 54338 Schweich, Germany
Owner: : Landkreis Trier-Saarburg
Architect: Harter+Kanzler Architekten Freiburg
Pictures: Olaf Herzog


Peconic Ballet Theatre by Francis Bitonti

It was with an interest in disruption and continuity that Francis Bitonti Studio developed this Interior for the Peconic Ballet Theater in Riverhead, New York. This 2000sqft facility features reception area changing rooms and a 1000sqft performance and rehearsal space with a sprung floor system. White walls hover between the floor and ceiling, pulling you across, around and in. Black accents punctuate the space stretching across the horizon, tearing at the static stark white field.

The reception area sets the space in motion as you enter. A long shelf element pierces through the wall, unfolding and bifurcating becoming the front desk. The solid black finish absorbs the shadows, creating a phantasmal floating threedimensional object. The cantilevered edge pulls the eye around and through an arrangement of black magnetic strips.

The sharp magnetized elements hoover somewhere off the wall and gradually taper as you slide around the corner, into the rehearsal and performance space. The simple elegance of the performance space reestablishes the continuities of the horizontal and vertical planes. The lighting is situated to create diffuse space, one without shadows, time or solid ground, leaving us with only the dancers to
provide us with a sense of time and place.

Location: Riverhead, NY
Client: Peconic Ballet Theatre
Dimensions: 2000sqft
Photos: Alan Tansey


High School by Brooks + Scarpa Architects

This new public school for 500 students is located in a tough South Los Angeles neighborhood almost directly under the flight path into LAX and adjacent to the very busy 105 Century freeway. The design was influenced by the New Orleans architects Curtis and Davis who designed and built many schools in the early 1950s in Louisiana. Their designs adapted to the harsh southern climate without using air conditioning, creating sustainable light filled and poetic spaces for kids to learn.

Similarly, this project is designed to enhance passive sustainable strategies. It allows for abundant natural light, ventilation and view, while shading itself and inducing airflow. The south facade is clad with 650 solar panels that shade the building and provides 75% of the energy needs for the school. Implementing these strategies will reduce carbon emissions by over 3 million pounds.

With a project target of CHPS and/or LEED Certification at the minimum, aesthetics, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness were considered in every design decision. Taking full advantage of the region’s temperate climate, the designers eschewed the fully contained “big box” idiom of conventional schools on the primary use site. Instead, a landscaped courtyard with multifunctional “bleacher” terracing flows into the open-air covered lobby and the multilayered paseo, lending the school the appeal of a collegiate campus and offering significant environmental benefits—improving daylighting and access to fresh air both inside and out—while providing substantial cost savings by limiting artificial lighting and thermal conditioning to the smaller enclosed spaces.

Project’s Formal Name: Green Dot Animo Leadership High School
Location of Project: Los Angeles County, CA – Lennox School District
Client/Owner: Green Dot Public Charter Schools
Total Square Footage: 53,500 sq. ft.
Completed: 2013
Cost: $17,300,000.00(US)
Architects: BROOKS + SCARPA (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Location of Architect: 4611 W. Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90043
Project Team: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA – Principal- in-Charge. Angela Brooks, AIA, Mark Buckland, Ching Luk, Project Architect, Brad Buter, Silke Clemens, Emily Hodgdon, Gwynne Pugh, Sri Sumantri – Project Design Team.
Engineering:Thorton Thomassetti-Structural, E2DI-Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing, Veneklaussen-Acoustical, Barbara Hall-Civil
Construction Manager: Telecu
Photography: John Linden


Hotel School by Fuksas

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have inaugurated a new public building in France: the Georges Freche School of Hotel Managementin Montpellier. The architects at Studio Fuksas were not only responsible for the over all architecture but have also designed the areas open to public: a hotel and three restaurants.

Built on 1,95 hectares , the Lycée Georges Freche hotel-school transforms the landscape and provides it with its own distinct urban identity. The project is a horizontal volume, simultaneously boasting mirrored repetition and unique geometric forms. Although it comprises two main buildings connected by a central courtyard, the architects designed the complex as a single entity. The volumetric complexity, which is evident even inside the building, ensures every room hasits own spatial individuality.

The first building has three floors and includes: the multipurpose room, the exhibition gallery, the administrative offices, the classrooms and the canteen which has exits leading towards the recreational areas outside.

The second two floor building is distinguished by its Y shape.This is where the vocational teaching space and areas dedicated to the hotel and the restaurantare located: a hotel that is open to the public; three restaurants, one of whichis a gourmet restaurant, a brasserie and a teaching restaurant, a bakery and a patisserie.

The gourmet restaurant, the brasserie and the 4-star hotel show case the school’s excellence and are the project’s most important areas. The entrance for the students and the professors is through an arch where as the entrance for the public is located on the other side. The complex’s two buildings constitute a sculptural entity and central hub for the gym, the students’ residence and the management accommodation. The school walls and those of the students’ residence are painted in a different colour on each floor,with shades ranging from yellow to green and from magenta to orange.

The colours serve as signage and means of orientation. The façades of the building have been constructed using 17,000 ALUCOBOND® triangular tray panels. Each panel is unique and carries its own specific bar code so that it can be placed in its designated position in the façade. The interaction between the façades reinforces the dynamic tension between solid materials and hollow areas, between light and the shadows which are an inherent part of the project. The geometric design of the aluminum composite skin is also applied to the 5,000 triangular windows, each one of which is different.

Project: Lycée Georges Freche, Montpellier, France
Architect: Massimiliano and DorianaFuksas, Rome, Paris
Fabricator / Installer: Tim Composites / SMAC Toulouse
Construction: Tray Panels
Year of Construction: 2012
Product: ALUCOBOND® Anodized Look C0/EV1
Photos: Moreno Maggi

source: 3A Composites GmbH

St Bedes College by Kneeler Design

St Bedes Sports Centre, located in Mentone, Victoria, Australia, was recently updated and extended to provide students and the surrounding community with more space for their activities and indoor sports. The large internal space includes a sports hall to accommodate various types of sport, a gym, a multi-purpose room, a canteen and changing rooms. The building is a steel construction with translucent wall cladding in some sections, which allows indirect light into the interior. ALUCOBOND® is used to break the large façade up into a number of geometric surfaces.

The overall design of the complex communicates its purpose: sports and motion. The mix of varying façade materials as well as the horizontal axis which appears to tilt in different directions gives the impression that the top of the building is breaking apart. The complex shows an interplay of contrast and harmony, and means the building itself appears to be in motion.

Project: St Bedes College, Mentone (Victoria), Australia

Architects: Kneeler Design, Victoria, Australia

Fabricator: Aussie Clad

Construction: Fixed Cassette

Year of Construction: 2012

Product: ALUCOBOND ®, Bronze Metallic & Grey Brown

Photos: Silvina Glattauer

source: 3A Composites GmbH

New sixth form centre by Austin-Smith:Lord Architects

Award winning, international architects Austin-Smith:Lord have created the new Sixth Form Centre in Accrington, which is one of the most environmentally advanced buildings in Great Britain. St. Christopher’s generates more than 10 per cent of its energy on site by using ground source heat pumps. Natural ventilation and natural lighting are at the heart of the design and lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions and running costs. The building uses rainwater-harvesting techniques to provide grey water for toilet use.

Two three-storey blocks are linked together by a glazed circulation area: one block contains 10 classrooms, a meeting room and laboratories for science, art and ICT and there is a 200 m² multi-purpose hall located in the other block, along with a learning resource centre and student hub. The outside space has been maximised by placing roof top gardens on both blocks, one as a teaching environment for art, the other as a student recreation area.

Chris Wright, associate from Austin-Smith: Lord, said: “It has flexible learning space to cater for the different teaching methods and to ensure the best response from students.“ The ventilated façade with ALUCOBOND® tray panels in the colours anodized look C31 and C32 contrasts with the
traditional red brick walls.

Project: St. Christopher’s High School’s new sixth form centre, Accrington, United Kingdom
Architect: Austin-Smith: Lord, United Kingdom
Fabricator: CGL Systems
Installer: Speedclad
Construction: Tray panel cassette system
Year of Construction: 2011
Product: ALUCOBOND ® Anodized Look C31 & C32
Photos: Rebecca Lane

Sint-Gillis by Lensass Architects

A new school has appeared in the charming town of Saint-Gilles, Belgium and the atelier of Lensass Architects is responsible. The building governs over two houselots, which is reflected in the dual solution of the façade. Windows of elongated shape highlight the vertical rhythm of the street and easily blend into the formal expression of its surroundings. Leafy motives of the iron elements in the parterre and on railing symbolize growth and strength. One of the floors houses three classrooms, organized according to the age of pupils. The top floor is reserved for administrative spaces and principal’s office. The school’s inner courtyard, delimited by the surrounding historic buildings, contains playground and open-air theatre used for various school activities. Main idea of this design was compact layout of educational and administrative spaces while making room for sufficient amount of open space.


Student Village by Hawkins, Brown

Architects of the English atelier Hawkins\Brown have recently completed a project of a student village at the Royal Veterinary College’s Hawkshead Campus in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, Great Britain. The project offers accommodation for 205 students, restaurant and various conference and meeting spaces. The design takes up an area of 6480 m² and features three or four storey pavilions connected by a staircase encased in light perforated aluminium.

The pavilions, all clad in cedar wood, have a saddle roofs and are arranged around inner courtyards of various sizes. The largest courtyard, oriented towards the centre of the village, creates a natural meeting point for the students. Public spaces, such as restaurant and the facilities equipped for continued professional development can be found in south-eastern part of the village, linked to the existing services of the student campus.


Education Center Nyanza by Dominikus Stark Architekten

Dominikus Stark Architekten studio from Munich contributed to the development of Ruandu, a state in the heart of Africa, also called „the land of a thousand hills“. An initial thought of designing only a shelter for a courtyard has expanded into a whole education centre after several discussions. In this agricultural landscape, the design is analogous to the local building tradition. It fits into it like a boulder in the nature.

New structures are grouped around the inner courtyard and create a novel layout together with the original building. The new buildings accessible only from the central courtyard, as they do not have any outward facing openings. An internet cafe, the only publicly accessible facility serves as an entrance into the complex and forms a forecourt. The language of the buildings, their form and execution, are created by the native material – handcrafted fired clay bricks as the integral resource for the whole complex, along with steel and wickerwork all serve constructional, protective and decorational functions.


Wahroonga Preparatory School by GGF Architects

Wahroonga Preparatory School is nestled between the St Johns Uniting Church Group (NSW), a highly signifi cant State Heritage listed group of buildings all original and well maintained, screen the school building along both street frontages. The commonwealth government’s Building the Education on Revolution on (BER) programme’ motivated the School to move forward its plans for expansion, fulfi lling crucial needs for additonal classrooms, library, music and art room.

A number options for expansion of the school building and playgrounds were considered well before the advent of the BER program, including options to purchase adjoining parcels of land; reconfiguration of areas and uses within the current curtilage amongst others. It was resolved to increase the bulk on the upper levels within the ‘L’ shaped footprint to accommodate additional classrooms, library, music room and ancillary facilities. Other core elements of the brief included accessibility (provision of lift ) and refurbished ground fl oor including lobby and main entry.

The aims and objectives of the design brief included needs to ameliorate and enrich the school environment primarily for the children that inhabit the space; to adaptively reuse the school building while having minimal or no impact on the heritage signifi cance of the Church and hall complex and its setting, bringing together a history of renovations into a cohesive aesthetic. The adapted building should respect and retain the heritage signifi cance of the group while adding a contemporary layer that provides value for the future.

Environmentally there have been many benefits to retention of the original building and its embodied energy, including reduced scope for demolition, recycling of building materials amongst other lifecycle benefits. A critical goal of the development was modernisation of the 1960’s building to allow improved safety standards, leading technology including teaching aids and energy efficient measures amongst many others. Consideration was given to the indoor environment including temperature, humidity, air quality, lighting and noise levels.

St Johns Uniting Church Group is listed in the State heritage register (no.01670). “As a group, and individually, the buildings are of exceptional aesthetic significance. They are well proportioned, refined in detail and the work is well crafted” . The manse built c1898 in federation style (design by Charles Slatyer of Slatyre & Cosh architects, (source: NBRS&P) predates the church and hall complex which was built in stages during the c1920’s by the eminent architect John Sheddan Adam of Sulman, Power and Adam and has retained a high level of integrity.

The School building designed by Laurie & Heath Architects was built during the c1950’s- c1960’s and stands in stark contrast to church and halls in style and detail. It has been altered on many occasions over the years becoming less signifi cant in the group.

The windows of the church were designed by the well-known glass artist Norman Carter (1875-1963). The selection of building colours were informed and inspired by the two main characteristics taken from a specific window. This included the margin and then the story inside the border including yellows, orange, reds, greens and blues. Following consultation with NBRS+Partners and the direct involvement of the Heritage Council of NSW they were then reconfigured to provide a bright, happy and engaging building providing a contemporary reflection of a traditional art form.

Cost of project:
At a final cost of 2.2 million, the project represented an affordable approach to design, funded in part by the Commonwealth government’s (BER) programme with the remainder paid directly by the School and Uniting Church Property Trust of NSW.

As the lead architect GGF was involved throughout the process from concept through to inception and final hand over. The design process was a result of collaboration, not only between client and architect but also representatives of the school and church community. Those who participated shared a common intent or ethos allowing a creative approach to design.

Architect: GGF Architects
Builder: Admire Build Pty Ltd
Engineer: Eclipse Consulting & Martens & Associates
Heritage: NBRS+Partners
Town Planner: Glendinning Minto & Associates
Photographer: Archishot & Tanja Milbourne Photography


Sankt Pölten Technology Center by AllesWirdGut

Architects of the AllesWirdGut atelier from Vienna developed a technology centre design to be constructed in Sankt Pölten, Austria. The centre is a part of the campus of WIFI – the Institute for support of development of economy in lower Austria. The centre building will offer workshop spaces for the New Design University. Interior of the centre creates places for multiple functions, accessible directly from the common lobby.

Therefore it creates opourtunities for communication among the building users. The lobby is linked to the outer square, which is in the vicinity of the main campus building. The framework of the building, along with the ceiling tiles, are visible from the exterior through the glass facade. Bystanders can therefore observe internal activity of the centre, which creates a dynamic appearance of the whole structure.


Marquesa de Alorna school

The existing Marquesa de Alorna School, designed by architect José Sobral Blanco in 1956, was one of the 50 schools built in Portugal according to the type promoted by the Construction Board for Secondary and Technical Education in the 1950’s. Like many of these schools, it had two main bodies, one containing the academic and administrative areas, the other containing the gym and cafeteria. The two bodies were linked by the main atrium of the school and the covered playground.

In this instance, the set defined a patio surrounded by an amphitheatre-shaped slope with woods, the result from an excavation on the hillside to build the original school. The beauty of the patio has since been disfigured, as the covered playground was closed, cutting the visual relationship between the patio and the city, and as the slope was largely destroyed in order to allow the construction of a parking building owned by a bank.

As part of the “School Modernization Program” of the Parque Escolar, our project provides for two types of intervention, namely:

A) in the existing building, the atrium, corridors and stairs, generously proportioned with its floor and wainscots in hydraulic mosaic; the exterior walls in painted plaster; the window frames in painted wood and the roof in flat tiles are restored. The existing classrooms receive new elements to bring more comfort – a suspended ceiling, a window blind, a wall;

B) on the other hand, three new bodies are added to the set:
1) a tower with the new laboratories and drawing rooms , west of the existing wing containing the classrooms;
2) a body, designed as a bridge, with the library, links the existing body that contains the gym and the cafeteria to the classrooms. Under this bridge, a covered playground, designed as an outdoor hypostyle room and relating directly to the students room, restore the original visual continuity between the main atrium and the patio of the school;
3) a semi-buried body of spas under the sports field which is protected by a plant structure that partly recovers the green screen earlier realized by the woods.

Given a school in which the diversity of spaces and situations was increasingly reduced throughout its history, a sentence of João dos Santos served as a greater stimulus for the project: “If you do not have a village, my son, you have to go in search of it! A boy can not live without his village.”

Location: Lisbon
Project year: 2007-2008
Construction year: 2008-2010

Architect: José Neves
Colaborators: Rui Sousa Pinto, André Matos, Bernardo Enes Dias, Filipe Cameira, Hugo Ferreira, Nuno Florêncio, Vitor Quaresma; João Pernão, Maria Capelo (colour consultants)
Landscape Architecture: Proap
Engineering: Betar, Joule, Natural Works

Photographs: Laura Castro Caldas & Paulo Cintra; João Dias

Client: Parque Escolar

GoogleMaps coordinates: 38.734904,-9.158971
GPS coordinates: 38º 44.082’ N; 9º 9.550’ O


Kindergarten in Jiading New Town by Deshaus

A new kindergarten can be found in Jiading, a new town in a north Shangaian suburb which is not quite a typical cityscape nor a countryside. With regards to this ambiguous environment, the authors Liu Yichun and Chen Yifeng of the atelier Deshaus focused on the self-improvement, directly intervening into the site, and making a very clear juxtaposition of the architecture and the site. In contrast to the surroundings, the kindergarten is in an introverted position. The architecture is divided into two dominant parts: a rational, effective one – consisting of 15 classrooms and several playrooms; and an emotional one – an intentionally enlarged transportation space, consisting of an atrium with ramp ways connecting individual floor levels.

This atrium contributes to emotional and entertaining spatial experiences outside the ordinary, common daily routine. The open space for activities is placed between changed elevation areas and the courtyards are extended along the vertical direction instead of a traditional horizontal one. Children and teachers commute everyday from one part to the other. They are sheltered by the architecture and experience the inner and outer spatial balance between passion and reason.


Safor School of Architects / Orts-Trullenque

A new headquarters of the College of Architects in Valencia is located on an unspecified location on the outskirts of the Benipeixcar district near a bland new area of expansion. The new building finally meets all of the requests of the architects and above all is a fantastic place for both non-formal encounters and academic discussions. The Orts-Trullenque Arquitectos project creates a transitional space between two municipal districts by its location, while respecting the characteristics of the neighbourhood. The building minimalizes its presence by optic dematerialisation and ambiguity of shapes. Individual masses are defined by glass envelope, which intersects with the empty cubatures of courtyards or panels of wooden facade in various size. The construction system is integrated into other building systems with an intent to reduce the tectonic elements.

Photo and source:

Smarties, Uithof by Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer

The building of student dwellings in the complex of buildings belonging to Utrecht University has transformed the Uithof site into a full-fledged campus. It will also help relieve the chronic housing shortage for young people in the city of Utrecht. Within the line of freestanding buildings (‘Objectenstrook’) the master plan designed by OMA, our block of 380 independent and clustered rooms presents itself as a solitary mass with a 20 metre cantilever.

The spectacular main concrete supporting structure consists of four slabs that together form a theatrical single table leg. The ‘leg’ and its rocking bench dramatize the main entrance and create an urban rendezvous which distills the encounters and the to-and- from of all those students. The colossal mass which rests on the main supporting structure consists of upright slabs penetrated by longitudinal tunnels, producing a building with high flexibility which will be a long-lasting addition to the Uithof.

The facade is made up of a grid of multicoloured aluminium panels with omissions for the windows. Seen from a distance, the colours coalesce
into grey, scaly skin, but on closer viewing they turn into a colourful hive for young eggheads. The lively facade reflects the wide diversity of tenants from all corners of the world. The building provides for encounter and communication at all scales. With its festive rooms, staircases and corridors with alcoves, the building forms a social microcosm in which youthful love may blossom and lasting friendships may develop.

Utrecht, NL, 2003-2009, housing
Nomination Dutch Concrete Award 2009
Nomination Rietveld Award 2009


L´OREAL Academy by Mm2r architecture

In Kiev a project providing additional training for hairstylists through seminars and hands on experience has been created. Mm2r architecture have used their fantasy and created this multi-functional work and learning environment for L’OREAL in Kiev. Firstly, this place should be a place of inspiration. The architects decided for contrasting materials such as glass, stainless steel and Corian. Many of the ventilation shafts as well as the racks for the lighting were left exposed.

The overall atmosphere gives the impression of a loft apartment or a fashion show stage setup. South-facing windows allow a lot of natural light to pour into the room – which is very important when looking at hair once the color has been applied. Mirrors on the walls create the illusion of a much larger space. Large lighting walls, fashion images and sparkling product displays create a pleasant impression of the space. The foyer and conference rooms are transformed into a world of high fashion and cosmetics. The reception at the entrance forms the centre of the office and creates a grand entrance.


School of architecture Umea by Henning Larsen Architects

School of architecture Umea got its name by a Swedish river that flows near by. The school should become part of a planned campus dedicated to art that will house an Academy of visual arts and an art museum. The building has a very artistic representation thanks to its interior structure and open floor levels with a sculptural stairways. It was designed by a group of architects called Henning Larsen Architects. This center for future architects was designed to inspire them and provoke the innovation. Looking from the outside, the building has a cubic expression, the facade is made from larch wood, the disposition of windows is very rhythmic and dynamic.

Square windows create not only strong visual experience, but provide a beautiful view on the river as well. Interior space of the building was designed as a dynamic sequence of stairways, mezzanines and open floor levels. The natural light enters through the high skylights irregularly placed on the ceiling. The aim was to create a clear and open study room where every student is a part of the room, that is why the study room is separated from the outside only by glass walls. This design is an inspiratory place, a place that motivates to exchange knowledge and ideas.