Sunday, 8 March 2009


Sometimes, well quite often actually, a new school design is characterised by the old school's timetable defining lots of little boxes whilst bored architects put a grand atrium on the front to disguise the fact that it is, in fact, just another 20th century school - what the American's call putting lipstick on a chicken.

So I was more than a little delighted to be visiting the GEMS World Academy in Dubai - which has this wonderful entrance of spiral ramp and water feature - to find a fresh look in architecture throughout the building. The building is a mass of curves and textures, with ceiling feature delineating social areas rather than walls and very large, really quite agile, spaces. It is also designed to support the learners' esteem, as this grand image shows..

This is an international school, with a real mission to be global. I'll be doing some work in there tomorrow and am really looking forward to it.

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