ÖFFENTLICHE BAUTEN / PUBLIC BUILDINGS
the social significance of education is reflected not only in the number of childcare facilities and school buildings built, but also in their interior design quality. The furnishing and equipment of learning spaces, the spatial implementation of different learning structures and the integration into the urban context reflect the degree of seriousness with which a community cares for the next generation. That this should be on the agenda of all those involved in the educational mandate seems indispensable and self-evident. As a result, not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas in particular, new buildings have been built and converted for years. Especially in growth regions, however, the need for action is still greater than ever – as are the investments apparently made available for this purpose. Let’s tackle it, one would like to call out to the German decision-makers in particular, because if we consider the multitude of high-quality educational institutions as seismographs for the corresponding social relevance, our neighbouring countries Austria and Switzerland are doing significantly better in this respect. Our selection of children’s homes, day schools, educational centres, primary and elementary schools in this issue on the subject of public buildings is proof of this (page 84). That education should accompany people throughout their lives is not a new insight. But the approach of attracting the general population with particularly striking, identity-generating buildings seems to be. When culture takes place in spaceship-like structures, former prisons, converted renaissance castles or spectacularly colourful theatres (page 122), imparting knowledge is twice as much fun. The students of the Rising Star School in Hopley, a district of Harare in Zimbabwe, now obviously have fun learning. Engineers Without Borders supported the expansion of a school complex, as vividly reported by architects Kristina Egbers and Berta Franziska Bilger (page 128). And we had a lot of fun with our cultural training in Milan on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile – as our Milan pictures show!
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.