School classrooms are the focus of San Francisco-based Architecture for Humanity's 2009 Open Architecture Challenge, a biennial competition that seeks to improve the built environment's impact on underserved communities. Registration is open from Jan. 28 through May 1, 2009.
Around the world, providing adequate, safe, and healthy learning environments for all children is a continuing problem. In the United States, disaster-relief trailers and portable classrooms constructed from materials that may contain high levels of hazardous substances are being used as supplemental classroom space, both in disaster zones and at schools flooded by high enrollment. According to the World Bank, putting all children worldwide in school by 2015 will require 10 million new classrooms in more than 100 countries.
The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge focuses on alternative solutions to the classroom shortage, inviting architects—as well as teachers, students, and other designers—to collaborate in designing the classroom of the future: a safer, healthier, and more sustainable learning environment. The winning design will receive funding to move forward with construction. Architects may partner with a school of their choosing or register to be matched with a school seeking a design partner. A design criteria package will be sent to all architects after registration; participating primary and secondary schools will receive a companion architecture curriculum.
All entries for Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom must be submitted by June 1, 2009. The winning design will be announced in the fall. For all competition guidelines and registration, visit www.openarchitecturenetwork.org/challenge .