Pope Elementary School in Cypress, Texas used Nichiha Illumination panels to create a space that was functional and fun for learning. VLK Architects, Inc. infused bright colors into the design using custom color Illumination panels that were installed on both the interior and exterior of the building. As the need for new schools increases, so does the drive for innovative designs. Recent research points to school architecture influencing student learning. With this in mind, architects are working to design schools that positively impact the learning process. Nichiha provided VLK Architects with a reliable product that allowed them to show innovation and beauty at a cost-effective price.
It is hard not to notice the unique features of Pope Elementary School! The school was recognized by the TASA/TASB Exhibit of School Architecture, receiving 2015 Stars of Distinction in community, design, sustainability value, and school transformation. The design of the building creates a lively learning space for students while still maintaining all functional aspects.
As Pope Elementary demonstrates, school architecture is a segment that requires cutting-edge ideas and distinctive designs. Recent research finds that 'space influences learning.' As Jonathan Phelps explains in Schools: Architecture for learning, the building and space a child learns in ultimately affects the quality of their learning. Spaces known as learning commons are becoming a trend in school architecture. These are spaces along hallways and in other common areas of the school where there are bright colors, trendy furniture and the latest technology. Students gather in these areas for hands-on, collaborative learning.
Phelps goes on to explain that research shows increased student achievement is a result of redesigning learning spaces. Students often operate better in a stimulating environment where they can actively participate in learning. I know I would rather go to school every day in a warm and fun environment than one that felt sterile and drab. Creativity and energy seem to be brought to life in spaces where there is excitement and warmth.
Pope Elementary uses Nichiha panels throughout the interior to create the bright colors and stimulating environment needed for learning commons. There is even a unique indoor/outdoor space that features bold Illumination panels and provides students with an alternative classroom setting.
Have you seen similar trends in school architecture? What kind of environment would you personally like to learn in? I think the classroom setting will continue to change as society evolves. I look forward to further innovation in school design and to see the long-term results of how current spaces influence learning.
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