Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Marlowe Academy, Ramsgate, Kent, UK-England

Set in the flat featureless landscape of eastern Kent, this colourful new academy is more like a campus than a traditional school. The three academic specialisations of the school - performing arts, science and humanities - form three curved teaching wings spiralling around a sequence of open and enclosed social spaces, including the arena, a restaurant, IT resource areas, library, sports hall and theatre. The clients’ vision of forming a community of learners is achieved through an open learning environment where pupils and teachers can see and be seen. The sequence of spaces has the feel of being outdoors, with streets and squares formed between the classroom wings and the sports hall and theatre. The sports hall is raised above the library, so that the ground level elevation is animated at all times and is easily accessible from the entrance piazza. The dramatic central arena space is topped by a timber gridshell roof, and acts as a counterpoint to the external piazza. Due to the proximity of Kent airport, There is an elaborate but low-tech system of mechanically assisted fresh-air ventilation, incorporating acoustic dampers and heat exchangers. When the arena and the adjoining auditorium are fully occupied, the ventilation system in the classrooms is switched off to save energy. Passive environmental controls include exposed concrete frames and floor slab soffits that act as a heat sink. The windows are shaded from the sun by a combination of fixed louvers and retractable external blinds.
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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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