David Kohn Architects
Linton House
39–51 Highgate Road
London NW5 1RT

+44 (0)20 7424 8596 tel

2002-3: Bath
School interior model, Alice Fung

1/1 School interior model, Alice Fung

Diploma design studio

This year we have designed schools for a range of sites, from the centre of the city to the country. One reason that we have chosen to look at schools is because five billion pounds will be spent on school construction in Britain over the next two years. Unlike previous national school building programs, the present one is not led by educationalists or by architects. Beyond the irrefutable truth that more schools are needed, and fast, the current program has not been co-ordinated with a major review of educational policy at a national or at a local level. Equally, unlike the school building program of the 1950's which was powerfully allied to the productivist modernist architecture of the post war period, the post- modern condition of contemporary architecture offers no such impetus. The only ideology that underlies the current boom is an obsession with management and building procurement, understandable given the difficult matter of spending several billion pounds very quickly. Other countries are also faced with the task of replacing their stock of forty year old school buildings. Some, like Austria, Germany and Switzerland are doing so in a more measured way. During the course of this year we have tried to challenge some of the economic 'truths' that underlie Britain's current schools programme.