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Architecture for Humanity Architecture Contest : Eight Finalists

page updated 29 Aug 2016

Open Architect Challenge Competition

2009 Open Architect Challenge : Classrooms

Architecture for Humanity

Eight Finalists announced

Adaptable Hillside Classrooms
Design Team: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios & AfH UK
Partner/ Location: Bunyonyi Community School, Kabale, Uganda Learn More

Bamboowood School
Design Team: Petr Kostner, Martina Sobotkova, Sona Huberova, Czech Republic
Partner/ Location: Antarastriya Yuba Barsais, Kavre, Central Nepal Learn More

Classroom for the saltpan community, Cohesion Foundation
Design Team: Rajesh Kapoor, Prashant Solanky, Bharat Karamchandani, Kiran Vaghela, Gujarat, India
Partner/Location: Cohesion Foundation, Kutch, Gujarat, India Learn More

Teton Valley Community School
Design team: Section Eight Design, Idaho, United States
Partner/ Location: Teton Valley Community School, Victor, Idaho, United States Learn More

A Sustainable Community Classroom
Design Team: Gifford, London, UK
Partner/ Location: Building Tomorrow, Uganda Learn More

House In The Wood / Rowe Elementary School
Design team: Built Form, LLC / Northwestern University Settlement House, Chicago, United States
Partner/Location: Northwestern University Settlement House, Delavan, Wisconsin, United States
Learn More

Justified Architecture in a Landscape of Transformation
Design Team: Arquitectura Justa – Wolfgang Timmer, Fabiola Uribe, T. Luke Young, Bogota, Colombia
Partner/ Location: Waldorf Educational & Social Organization, Ciudad Bolívar, Bogota, Colombia Learn More

Blurred Classroom
Design team: Gensler, New York, United States
Partner/ Location: Future Leaders’ Institute, New York, New York, United States Learn More

Eight Teams Named as Finalists in International Architecture Competition for Innovative Classroom Designs

Teams vie for US$ 50,000 to improve schools learning environments

SAN FRANCISCO, July 23rd, 2009 – Eight teams were recognized today as finalists of the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom.
Finalists submitted designs ranging from an outdoor classroom for children in inner-city Chicago, learning spaces for the children of salt pan workers in India, safe spaces for youth in Bogota, Colombia and a bamboo classroom in the Himalayan mountains.

The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge was hosted by Architecture for Humanity and principal partner Orient Global in collaboration with a consortium of other partners around the world. This truly global initiative invited the architecture, design and engineering community to collaborate directly with students and teachers to rethink the classroom of the future. Designers entering the competition were given a simple mandate: collaborate with real students in real schools in their community to develop real solutions.

More than 1,000 design teams from 65 countries registered for the competition. Over a four-month submission period hundreds of ideas were generated around the world.

Each submission was rated on feasibility, sustainability, innovation in learning and overall design quality by a team of interdisciplinary online jurors. After three rounds of reviews, more than 400 designs were narrowed to a shortlist of 52. On July 2nd, 2009, an international panel of jurors reviewed the designs at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival and selected eight entries as finalists for the competition. In September one of these teams will be awarded US$ 5,000 and the selected partner school will receive up to US$50,000 to realize their design. The finalists are:

The Blurred Classroom
Gensler, New York, NY, United States

Teton Valley Community School
Section Eight Design, Victor, ID, United States

Teksing Bamboo school
Petr Kostner, Sona Huberova and Martina Sobotkova, Czech Republic

Classroom for the Salt Pan Community
Rajesh Kapoor, Prashant Solanky, Bharat Karamchandani and Kiran Vaghela, Gujurat, India

A Sustainable Community Classroom for Uganda
Chris Soley, Farah Naz, Hayley Maxwell, Edward Crammond and Jessica Robinson of Gifford LLC, United Kingdom

Extending the Classroom
Built Form Architecture, Northwestern University Settlement House, Chicago, IL, United States

Justified Architecture in a Landscape of Transition
Architectura Justa, Bogota, Colombia

Adaptable Hillside Classrooms
Andrew Macintosh, Matthew Brown, Nilufer Kocabas of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Buro Happold, United Kingdom

The need for safe, sustainable, smart classroom design has never been greater. Worldwide, 776 million people are illiterate. With less than six years left to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals, the World Bank estimates ten million new classrooms are needed to reach its target equal access to primary education. In addition, tens of millions of crumbling facilities-including many in the United States-are in urgent need of upgrading. Meeting this need for classroom space will constitute the largest building project the world has ever undertaken. The world will need to spend in excess of US$ 100 billion just to meet current demand for classrooms.

Serving as a catalyst to build safe, sustainable and smart educational facilities around the world, the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge has created an online portfolio of design solutions, all licensed under Creative Commons and viewable at School districts, independent schools and social entrepreneurs from around the world can now download, adapt and replicate these ideas in their current and future learning environments. Beyond the awarded funds, three building partners, Rumi Schools of Excellence in India, Building Tomorrow in Uganda and Blazer Industries with The Modular Building Institute in the United States have committed to build classrooms based on selected designs. An international traveling exhibition is set to launch in the fall.

To see all the entries and for more information, please visit:

Principal Partner: Orient Global

About Orient Global
Orient Global is a private investment group based in Singapore and founded by New Zealand-born entrepreneur Richard Chandler. Orient’s goal is to be the world’s best capital allocator in financial and social markets. Orient Global Capital is an entrepreneurial, value-oriented portfolio investor which focuses on emerging markets and economies in transition. Orient Global Development combines business and philanthropic approaches to address the root causes of poverty. For more information, please visit:

About Architecture for Humanity
The Open Architecture Network ( and the Open Architecture Challenge are programs of Architecture for Humanity, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and brings design services to communities in need. To date the organization has provided shelter for more than 700,000 individuals in 31 countries.

By The Numbers
Teams Registered: 1,066
Qualified Submissions: 406
Number of Schools: 342
Number of Teachers: 500+
Number of Students: 3,600+
Number of Designers: 1,200+
Countries Represented: 65

Jury: More than 50 leaders in education, sustainability and architecture, including students and teachers.

Grand Prize: The winning design team receives $5,000 and its partner school will receive up to $50,000 to help implement the winning idea.

Technical Awards: The winning design teams will receive software provided by Google SketchUp and AutoDesk.

Architecture for Humanity Court Case – 20 Jul 2016

Architecture for Humanity

About Architecture for Humanity

Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of more than 40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, we bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed. To learn more, please visit

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