Infoscience

Thesis

Sustainable Architecture for Educational Space in Africa and China

Countries in the Global South are producing the most important educational needs of the 21st century. Fast-growing cities can provide the most striking examples of these current tendencies. Just over a decade after the start of the new millennium, the needs for quality-education and appropriate learning space are huge. Yet they are still largely underestimated in many countries of the Global South. With high-level demographical growth and fast-expanding urban boundaries, the developing metropolis provides a fascinating place to analyze societal mutations. School – as one of the fundamental institutions in modern society – deserves timely observation and careful analysis. The research work is dedicated to the study of educational architecture in two African cities Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Cape Town (South Africa) and one Chinese city: Hangzhou. Because of the fundamental relationship between school and society, learning places need to make statement of their urban positions. The hypothesis proposes to question the concept of sustainability in the framework of cultural-environmental qualities between school and city, between users and space. Conducted by an architect, this thesis is the synthesis of a research process together with the professional practice. It is benchmarked by a path of three steps: critical analysis of literature, in situ case-study and cross-cultural comparison with proposal of an assessment method that opens up for future perspectives. The thesis argues that the current time is crucial for our society to reconsider the place of educational architecture in the city. A truly sustainable architecture is transformable in the time-span of its usage and transformative in the changing urban environment. With a discursive comparative view between built cases located in these three cities, this work attempts to provide new insights on the design of the learning space in the urban future. The synthesis provides a panel of cultural-environmental quality profiles as guidelines to future design innovation opportunities.

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