Education in 21st Century: An Architectural Revival

  • Education in the 21st Century:

    An Architectural Revival

Booster Blog

education in the 21st century

Have you ever wondered what the ideal classroom would look like? Whilst our means of communication is transforming every year, our means of education is staying predominantly still. Throughout the last century, our concept of education has remained largely consistent.

  • Credits: Architecten aan de maas
  • Hubertus & Berkhoff culinaire vakschool Amsterdam Bolidtop 700 College
  • Credits: Architecten aan de maas
  • IJburg College Amsterdam Bolidtop 700 College

As our everyday communication and interaction evolves, we should be encouraged to consider how education might grow with it. Following are some key ideas that can be seen breaking into the 21st century and challenging the modern day ‘classroom’.  

Architecture and education?

Some might question what architecture has to do with education. The fact is, architecture dictates the very blueprints of our education. If you went to a ‘normal’ school, chances are you sat in rows in a rectangular room, facing a teacher. This is logical, considering that the teacher is the main source of information and learning. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the teacher, though important, is one of many. Most students can operate a mobile device with a swiftness unknown to their older mentors. Whilst research shows that interactive, peer-guided learning is much more effective than traditional lecturing methods.  

As new forms and shapes of learning come to the surface, it’s up to architects and designers to integrate them into our education.

The learning community vs. traditional education

The learning community is a place where students not only learn about math and science, but where the student is challenged to learn about himself and the world around him. The environment is extremely important for this process. IJburg College in Amsterdam puts this theory into practice, with a school ethos that reaches out of the borders of the classroom and into a larger community. With Bolidtop® 700 College flooring system, this concept was integrated into the school flooring. Rather than having hallways, walls and classrooms, the colours on the floor indicate the significance of the area. 

For instance, lighter colours are corridors, leading teachers and students where they need to go, whilst dark floors represent ‘learning pods’, where students can work together in groups


On top of its highly customizable design, Bolidtop® 700 College is low maintenance and can take an extreme amount of impact (such as school kids running around all days of the year).

Interaction with Nature

We’ve known for a while now, through experience as well as study, that nothing nurtures learning better than nature itself. Having access to light with views of nature is important, but direct interaction is even better.

Architecture and design can help create a connection to nature. A great example of this is with the AOC Oost in Twello. This school building is placed in an open space and consists of several pavilions. Vertical, wood-coated strips form different shapes along the school’s façade. Whilst having a modern appeal, it also resembles nature and creates the ideal atmosphere for an agriculture learning center.

The rest of the design follows this theme with a ‘green’ design by SP Architects. This includes Bolidt flooring systems, offering longlasting durability to heavy loads (animals, tractors and the like!).

Learning by Doing

Another crucially important element we see the need for in the 21st century is learning by doing. If learning is restricted to tables and textbooks, what skills can we hope to foster as adults? Learning by doing is something valued highly and demonstrated at ROC Flevoland Engineering Hall in Almere. Here, they offer their students practical education in environments that simulate their future professional situations. Real practice is the core of the learning process. Because of this students are allowed to develop in their own unique way.

 The culinary art school Hubertus & Berkhoff is another example of learning through doing. Here students learn in an ideal environment how to cook, bake and serve. With state-of-the-art equipment, they receive training on how to host, cook, and bake bread and pastry. For their new location, Hubertus & Berkhoff chose the Bolidtop® 700 college system. This synthetic flooring has been developed specifically for education and offers a number of advantages. The system is durable, hygienic, safe and is very low in maintenance costs. By choosing this floor system, Hubertus & Berkhoff has a reliable foundation to their school for years to come. 

The influence of architecture can be followed to the very core of education. These projects show us a glimpse of insight into the amazing power architecture holds to revitalize, revolutionize and revive education.

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