Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Jardin de Infantes Nº 911 "Xul Solar", Buenos Aires, Argentina

All the buildings are linked by an arcade that opens out onto the patio. From here, children can access the activity rooms. The entrance to ach room is through a small recess in the wall, referencing the sunken features (hornacina) found in many old buildings that contain religious icons or decorative objects. The main classrooms have been designed to create a magical atmosphere. Each room has an irregular shape, with ceilings of varying height. Floors are laid with ceramic tiles and coloured mirrors. Bottles and jars are embedded in the walls to create multicoloured and shifting patterns as the sun filters through the glass, creating different light effects. Recesses in the wall provide storage spaces. The vaulted brick ceilings rise to a small cupola built around skylights. This is supported by a central column, designed to look like the trunk of a tree, with a series of branches connecting to the ceiling. Shelving is placed around the trunk, and this is used to store materials and resources for teaching science and natural history. At the back of each room steps lead down into an oval alcove. This creates a small amphitheatre that is used by teachers at storytelling time. The ceiling here is lower, and can be used to hang mobiles and toys. Located next to the kitchen, the multipurpose room can double up as a dining room. It is also linked directly to the music room, and the two rooms can be combined to create a space for large assemblies. Teachers and local residents were involved in the planning and design process. After opening, these strong links remain. The facilities are open to the community for a variety of activities, from meetings on health care and gardening courses to games and sports.
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About this database

The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the “Database of Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investment” on 29 September 2011. It seeks to inform the planning, design, construction, management and evaluation of educational spaces, combining resources for strategic investment in educational infrastructure, with exemplary school and university facilities from all over the world.

Drawing on the output of a joint CELE/European Investment Bank project on “Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure” and more than 60 exemplary schools and universities featured in CELE’s flagship publication, “Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”, this database is a unique international resource for educators, designers, policymakers and researchers alike.

Users of the database are encouraged to add their own resource material, or submit new completed university or school projects for publication on the database. OECD and EIB welcome your input to our project!

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The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) presents the top 6 school and university buildings in ”Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”.

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