Lessons from the Scandinavian Study Tour

Published: Thursday 15 September 2016

Over 40 Learning Environments WA members and teaching representatives attended the Scandinavian Schools tour overview at Brickworks Design Studio on 30 August 2016.

Earlier this year 16 LEA members, four of whom were from WA, travelled from Finland to Switzerland on a tour organised by Anne Knock. Reuben Norris, Leigh Robinson, and Tony D’Andrea shared their stories of the places they visited, including Orestad Gymnasium (Senior College) by 3XN Architects, Orestad School & Community Library by KHR Arkitekter, Maglegard Skolen (K to 9), Hellerup Skole (K to 9) by Arkitema, Den Bla Planet Aquarium by 3XN Architects and Kunskapsskolan School (Yr 6 to 9).

Reuben presented the variety of educational facility building visits and recounted their effectiveness in delivering education. Leigh and Tony provided a more architectural commentary on the projects and the value the design elements contributed to the effectiveness of teaching and learning. The architects took the opportunity to visit a few other projects such as University campus works by Alva Aalto, Den Bla Planet Aquarium by 3XN Architects, EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) Rolex Design Institute in Geneva by SANAA and Delft University Library (Holland) by Mecanoo.

The projects visited by the Tour varied from new, purpose built education centres, to civic / public buildings to modest conversions of old office buildings into schools. The latter is a hot topic of discussion here in Perth and Reuben, Leigh and Tony offered some interesting insights. A key take away from the presentation for me was that the learning outcomes of the most highly regarded education system on the planet were supported by facilities which are similar to those found in Australia and Perth. Such facilities are certainly enhance the educational success and support the lead / head teachers in their teaching.

Mr Reuben Norris, Catholic Education Office, WA
Mr Leigh Robinson, Taylor Robinson Architects
Mr Tony D’Andrea, EIW Architects

Article and Photos: Paul Edwards, Site Architecture Studio