THE CATALAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION PUBLISHES A GUIDE FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION AND TRANSFORMATION PROJECTS
The new document, entitled Nous aprenentatges, nous espais (New learning, new spaces), puts the educational project being implemented at a school or college at the heart of any corresponding construction or transformation project and stipulates the need for a collaborative process involving both the educational community and architects. The process even includes a meeting a year after the completion of the project in order to assess the degree to which the building meets the needs of the relevant pedagogical project.
This non-regulatory guide corresponds to the Royal Decree 132/2010, which sets out the minimum requirements with which compulsory education spaces must comply, but it permits those spaces which are not governed by the regulation to be left open and linked to the transit spaces. These spaces, which the guide describes as “likely to be open”, can cover an area of up to 200 m2, depending on the capacity of the centre. This allows for new structures and programmes to be developed in line with the various teaching methodologies.
The concept that all the spaces in the centre have the potential to serve as learning spaces is another noteworthy element. As such, the playgrounds form another part of the architectural project and, in coordination with the educational project and the dialogue with the municipalities, may incorporate educational elements, such as outdoor classrooms, or become natural spaces.
The precedents to this document date back to 2019, when the Ministry of Education’s Directorate General for Public Education Centres and the Directorate General for Research, Innovation and Digital Culture initiated a collaboration with the COAC and the Bofill Foundation with the aim of changing and adapting the document outlining “Criteria for the construction of new state school buildings” to the pedagogical reality.
As part of this collaboration, architects and teachers interested in improving school spaces were invited to the Nous espais, nous aprenentatges (New spaces, new learning) seminar held at the UB Auditorium in March 2019. This seminar marked the beginning of a collaborative process involving professionals from a range of different fields and disciplines including more than 80 architects. All this information has been summarised by architects David Lladó and Mariona Genís and teaching professional Jordi Vivancos in this new document.
The guide is available to download from the Ministry of Education website.