Siberia's best school opens its doors


The innovative school "Point of the Future" opened its doors for the first time to young Irkutsk residents today, on Knowledge Day. The school "Point of the Future," which was built by the "New House" Foundation in collaboration with Russian architects UNK and the Danish firm CEBRA, is so perfect that it appears unrealistic. "Point of the Future" is the name of the project, which includes a kindergarten, junior and senior high schools, sports complexes, and a residential community. The building's construction began in 2015, when the "Strelka" Design Bureau, in collaboration with the "Smart School" Foundation, held an international architectural competition. It was attended by 49 teams representing 26 states. CEBRA, a small Danish studio, and UNK, a Russian design bureau, formed the winning consortium then. All of the classrooms are arranged in a ring structure of the building to teach a child to manage his or her own life and make informed decisions. The architecture and interiors were influenced by this in the most direct way possible: space was relieved of any restrictions as much as possible. The clients and architects were keen to move away from the subject rooms and only left them where special equipment was needed, such as in the chemistry classroom. The transparent setting creates a safer environment and reduces the risk of bullying among students. So, all spaces, including the principal's office, are glazed. Teachers' areas are used as co-working spaces, and teachers do not have assigned seats in the cafeteria and must eat at tables with children.