An experimental school in Novosibirsk was designed as a potential prototype for a series of future district schools in Russia and an alternative to mass-produces Post-Soviet school types. The buildinghas four simple yet refined red-brick façades and accentuated corner stairwells that create a distinct, unique character.
Creating an impression of a solid brick block from the distance, the school “holds the fort” at the crossing of important district avenues and is surrounded by the well-landscaped plaza – a school park. At the same time, the school remains open to its context: through the interface of large windows and transparent entrance doors it interacts with the surrounding city both literally and metaphorically.
The school is composed around a large central atrium which can be used as a recreational space or an event hall. All classrooms are positioned along the perimeter, offering a high degree of flexibility. Although conforming with the strict federal regulations in terms of size, the school can accommodate a broad range of educational formats: from more formal classes to experimental practices. Students of various age can study in classrooms and vestibules that open into the atrium, but also in the labs and a library. In this project, SVESMI designers collaborated closely with the educational methodologists from the Clever School centre, so the spatial organisation and furniture arrangements follow the logic of educational patterns.
Large windows and the atrium glass ceiling let in a lot of light, even in the darkest months of the year. The abundance of natural light allowed our design team to work with a subtle colour scheme in the interior: variations of white, grey and natural wood shades form a rich background for the delicate colour highlights. The interior is punctured with custom-designed coloured objects – special displays, receptions, lecterns, lamps, staircases, – and the palette of their unusual colours is also supported by the composition of stained-glass panels, marking the entrance.