Kids: Architecture is Good for You

While architecture may be leaving architecture students high and dry when it comes to the post-graduation job search, it’s doing wonders for public school students in Finland. After seeing “Best School in the World,” a Center for Architecture exhibition on the progressive learning environments where Finnish students to the top of world rankings, New York’s Justin Davidson aligned the layout of these schools more with tech company offices. We’ve rounded up a few of the design perks that your middle-school self never dreamed of. Now’s a great time to be a Finnish kid.

Way cooler than my cafeteria: Joensuu Lyceum in Joensuu, Finland; Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects; 2007

No freshman hallway: Open lobbies and lounges get the older kids to mingle with the younger ones, cutting down the class warfare that occurs between grades.

Recess on the hour, every hour: There’s easy passage to the playground in order to accommodate the 15-minute break after each 45-minute class.

Nooks and crannies: Teachers are provided smaller spaces to break their classes into smaller groups, giving students more individualized attention.

Best of all, daylight!: Glass walls make dismal, fluorescent-lit hallways a thing of the past.

Coupled with well-designed teaching methods, these well-designed spaces have shown the two go hand in hand. It also explains why Google employees get a slide and a basketball court in the office — as it turns out, a little freedom gets the brain going. Now all that’s left to fix is what they’re serving in the cafeteria. [New York]

“Best School in the World,” on view now at the Center for Architecture through October 31.

— Janelle Zara