Ooze is undertaking a study of natural, self-regulating and small-scale water management in informal neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro.
Ooze wants to conduct a series of...
The construction of education centers adapted to contemporary pedagogic challenges is one of the most significant tasks for the intellectual development of the country. According to data supplied in 2001 by the INEP – Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais (National Institute for Educational Studies and Research), only 5.99% of Brazilian students in the third year of secondary school have a satisfactory knowledge of math’s; for the Portuguese language the percentage drops to 5.35%. Preliminary data for 2005 indicate a slight improvement in the rates previously established. Despite the improvement, Brazil is among the worst placed in international education rankings. In 2009 the country conquered the 53rd place among 65 countries in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The first efforts to broaden basic schooling for the masses in Brazil date from the 1920s. Anísio Teixeira (1900-1971) articulated the principles of a reform capable of reversing the grave situation of education in Brazil. In Salvador during the 50s, Teixeira thought out a concept of educational centers named class-schools and park-schools, in which the pupils would study full time, going to class-schools in one period where they would follow the basic subjects, and another period in the park-school where they would develop complementary activities. Despite the merits of this program the low number of initiatives like this one demonstrates the critical situation of the basic education in Brazil, worsened by the low level of qualification of teachers, the reduced number of hours spent in class each day and the frightful condition of school buildings.
We do find some outstanding exceptions to the poor construction of schools; among public education programs that stand out are the famous CIEPs – Centros Integrados de Educação Pública (Integrated Public Education Centers), designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the government of the state of Rio de Janeiro during the 80s. A more recent program is the CEUs – Centros Educacionais Unificados (Unified Educational Centres), developed by the municipal government of São Paulo. Concerning the research of architecture for school buildings, there are few groups in activity. The only one certified by the CNPq (National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development) is the Grupo Ambiente Educação (Group Environment-Education), coordinated by Giselle Arteiro Nielsen Azevedo at FAU/UFRJ. This group approaches the issue of the quality of the school environment in Brazil focusing on the possible relationship between the conditions of the physical space and the learning of the pupils.
Some initiatives dedicated to the improvement of education in Brazil developed by various NGOs deserve mention: Spetaculu — school for stage technicians and designers, coordinated by the art director and designer Gringo Cardia, in Rio de Janeiro; the art school Jardim Miriam Arte Clube (Jamac), coordinated by the artist Mônica Nador in São Paulo; and the art school Ateliê Acaia in São Paulo, coordinated by the artist Elisa Bracher in a building conceived by the Una Arquitetos office. The desire to stimulate critical reflection of Brazilian problems through artistic activities is common to all three initiatives.
The Unified Education Centers (Centro de Educação Unificado) in São Paulo (2002) are public buildings that offer educational, cultural and leisure activities for adults and children of the outlying areas of São Paulo. The architects Alexandre Delijaicov, André Takiya and Wanderley Ariza established a standard pattern of school which is adaptable to different situations, creating a unified language for all the schools of the network, 21 in the first phase of the program. The typical structure of each CEU is composed of a day-care centre, a kindergarten and elementary school, a children’s library, a culture house, community centre and a computer room with Internet access. During the weekends the CEU offers cultural programs (film, theatre, shows) and sport free of charge for the entire community. See also www.vitruvius.com.br/revistas/read/arquitextos/05.055/517 [pt/fr] and www.pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centro_Educacional_Unificado [pt].
This project by a team of young architects called O Norte Oficina de Criação (2002) was selected in a public contest. Built by the municipal government of Recife with institutional support of UNICEF, the NGO Umbu-Ganzá and with financing from Luxemburg TV, the Novo Mangue School is a public education centre dedicated to the discussion of environmental issues. Built in the poor community of Joana Bezerra, the project re-interprets the elements of the old sugar mills, noticeable in the use of ceramic bricks and tiles and the spatial configuration of the building. A further relevant aspect is the perpendicular positioning of the blocks, whose purpose is to create a space for interaction contiguous to the mangrove right in the centre of the capital of the state of Pernambuco. See also www.onorte.arq.br [pt/eng] and www.umbuganza.org.br/projetos/projetos-ja-desenvolvidos/ [pt].
This state public school in Campinas was developed by Una Arquitetos in 2003, due to the invitation of the FDE – Fundação para o Desenvolvimento da Educação (Foundation for Educational Development), which is responsible for the implementation of educational programs in the state of São Paulo. This selected example integrates a pilot program using a modular structural system of pre-molded concrete. Located in the suburban area of Campinas, surrounded by a huge social housing complex, the school intends to create a reference mark in the neighborhood. This objective, together with the exiguity of the plot, can explain the geometrical conformation of the block, noticeable for its verticality and, mostly, for the opposition between openings and closures. See also www.unaarquitetos.com.br [pt/eng] and www.vitruvius.com.br/revistas/read/arquitextos/06.064/422 [pt/fr].