Architecture is the art of designing and building buildings. And it's way more than saying "The walls go here, and the roof goes there."
It's about answering questions like: Where will the water go when it rains? How will air flow through the building when the windows are open? Will heat stay trapped inside during cold nights? If there's a huge storm, can the walls withstand the winds?
A well-designed building is sturdy, safe, comfortable, and energy-efficient. It fits the local climate and landscape perfectly, and, hopefully, is beautiful to look at, too! Checking off all of those boxes takes real skill and talent. Which is why when an organization like the Royal Institute of British Architects (Oooo, fancy!) gives out an award for the 'World's Best New Building', it's a big honour.
And this year's winner? Sure enough, it's one cool building.
We're sorry, we meant one school building!
School of dreams
Most schools have a pretty similar look—they're rectangular and functional. Which makes sense. But The Children's Village at Canuaña School in Brazil? With its beautiful courtyards and walkways, it honestly looks more like a resort than a school!
For one, it helps when your school is already in a beautiful location—in this case, smack dab in the middle of a tropical rainforest in the Brazilian municipality of Formoso do Araguaia. But this building looking like a resort is not a coincidence. It's because 540 students live there.
Canuaña School is a boarding school, and the 'World's Best New Building' is actually a pair of identical dormitories. Think of them as a school hotel!
Cool, comfortable community
The main feature of the Children's Village buildings is their giant roofs. They sit over the buildings like a large sunshade, giving plenty of shelter during the daytime heat. Much of the top floor is open air, while the brickwork of the building is perforated, or full of small holes. These features mean that air can flow nearly anywhere through the building, keeping things cool and comfortable.
This is important for a couple reasons; for one, the more the building can stay cool naturally, the more energy-efficient it is. But the architects, Pedro Duschenes and Gustavo Utrabo, had another reason to make the boarding school so comfortable. To give students a sense of belonging during their stay through the week, which would in turn help make learning easier.
We can't think of a better reason to design the world's best new building. Who wouldn't want to go to school there?