Lower School building of Markham College in Peru, Peruvian Architecture Design

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima

16 Apr 2021

Markham Collegue Primary School building in Lima

Design: IDOM and Rosan Bosch Studio

Location: Lima, Peru

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru

Illustrations by IDOM / Rosan Bosch Studio

New School Gives Direction for Flexible Learning During Pandemics

16th April 2021 – Learning and educating must go on. Designed to operate during a pandemic, the new Lower School building of Markham College in Peru presents an ecosystem for learning. The winning design proposal by IDOM and Rosan Bosch Studio offers a future-proof and flexible learning environment with a focus on sustainability and outdoor learning.

In 2020, widespread school closures challenged learning across the globe. The long-term consequences of school closures are profound. School buildings with a strong focus on resilience, flexibility and personalized learning can play a pivotal role in avoiding school closures in the future. With the winning design proposal for Markham College’s new Lower School learning environment, IDOM and Rosan Bosch Studio have created an imaginative ecosystem for flexible learning.

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru

As a first of its kind, the design presents a pandemic-proof school. It is conceived as a learning landscape that embraces each student’s learning potential, in a setting where learning and nature go hand in hand. With the future of education in mind, it is designed to empower students and foster 21st century skills.

A learning environment based on motivation and trust can acknowledge that learning happens everywhere – and activate new learning potentials and at the same time minimize health risks. Schools need to change now to meet new health standards and safety needs. Flexible units, natural air ventilation, moveable elements, foldable walls and diverse breakout spaces are part of the design proposal for a school prepared for the unexpected.

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru

Integrating Outdoor Learning

Instead of gathering all students in one compact building block, the new Markham Lower School distributes learners and utilize the spacious school area. The design promotes the flexible use of the spaces and creates multipurpose areas and connections that support a continuous movement across the school. The design supports modern educational approaches which promote children combining activities when studying a subject.

“We propose a community structure, which replaces traditional classrooms with a flexible organizational system of home-bases combined with communities. It creates an inspiring learning landscape where the students can train for agility and stimulate their creative skills and build strong connections beyond their year group,” explains Rosan Bosch, Founder and Creative Director of Rosan Bosch Studio.

The school building is constructed with a thick external barrier along the campus borders to shield from city traffic. Internally, the three story-building embraces the green heart of the school. With a façade composed of balconies, vertical gardens, a learning bridge and small courtyards, the building creates a diverse inner space and gives all students easy access to outdoor learning.

“We understand this new school as a landscape project. It is architecture based on the topography, natural materials and the Peruvian culture in relation to the landscape”, comments Manuel Andrades, Project Director at IDOM.

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru

Connection to Nature and Sustainable thinking

With natural materials, sustainable solutions and lots of greenery, the architectural structure brings nature in and out of the building.

“Sustainability is one of the cornerstones for our design strategy. We are building with a nearly zero-energy and a net zero carbon footprint while integrating local, reused or recycled materials. The building is designed for natural cross ventilation that will provide 100% fresh air without any recirculation,” explains Manuel Andrades.

The warm climate of Lima makes outdoor learning possible most of the year. Shaded outdoor patios, vertical gardens and inner courtyards create a climate-friendly learning landscape with a strong sense of connection between nature and learning and blends the boundaries of indoor and outdoor learning.

With inspiration from the Peruvian landscape and the local Río Hablador (the Talking River), the design encourages a meandering flow through the campus ground. As a river, the paths take shape as whirlwinds and new divisions throughout the school’s large patios, outdoor areas and rooftop playground, bringing the learning conversations to all corners of the campus.

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru

Prepared for the Unexpected

The design proposal is the first collaboration between IDOM and the Rosan Bosch Studio. They joined forces for the competition for Markham College’s new Lower School, as the pandemic of COVID-19 has made one thing very clear: the need for agile students who can improvise and be creative during a crisis is more important than ever.

With Markham College’s new Lower School, the learners will get a flexible building structure and differentiated learning environments that will support them on their learning journeys.

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru

Illustrations: IDOM / Rosan Bosch Studio

Markham Collegue Primary School Lima – Facts

Learning Environments Prepared for Pandemics

As the first of its kind, the new Lower School of Markham College will be prepared and equipped to handle future pandemics.

The community organization of students allows the school to be scaled down to smaller sections, avoiding big gatherings and any shared use of common areas. The design creates a lot of options for taking learning outdoor, utilizing all areas of the school as active learning spaces. The interior will be made of cleanable materials to support daily cleaning and disinfection.

The building relies on natural shading and ventilation that will bring in 100% fresh air without any recirculation, following the latest COVID-19 recommendations.

Markham College is Peru’s leading school, focused on bilingual and international education with British guidelines based on values that allows it to train highly qualified young people prepared to contribute to the improvement of society.

The new Lower School will accommodate 750 students in grade 1-6. The 10,000 sqm building is located on 20,679-square-meter site in the south-eastern part of Lima. The new school will welcome students in a future-proof and well-ventilated learning environment that provides a wide range of facilities: swimming pool, gym centre and sports fields, music centre, art centre, drama and dance studios, tech and science labs, cafeteria, theatre and exhibition space. The spaces are flexible and will offer students space for individual focus, collaborative learning and teamwork, and cater spaces for all group sizes from small to large gatherings.



IDOM is an international architecture firm. Founded in 1957, the studio is specialized in sectors such as health, sport and education. It is dedicated to developing sustainable projects that contribute to a more liveable world. With 45 offices worldwide the studio has a strong presence in Spanish-speaking regions.

In the last five years alone, the projects of IDOM have been recognized with over 50 prizes and awards, including the International Architecture Award granted by the Chicago Athenaeum in 2020 for the Biocruces Institute project; the 2020 World Design Awards for the San Mamés Stadium, the expansion of the Bambey University, the offices of the Vitoria City Council and the Lima Convention Center; the 2019 Architecture Masterprize also recognized the Lima Convention Center; or the 2019 Aga Khan Award received for the expansion of Bambey University.

For more projects see www.idom.com

Rosan Bosch Studio

Rosan Bosch is Founder and Creative Director of Rosan Bosch Studio. She is internationally renowned for her designs and inspiring perspectives on learning spaces for the future.

Rosan Bosch Studio works with design to empower and motivate learners across the globe. Based on six design principles for learning situations, the studio creates learning landscapes full of flexibility and diversity. The studio has worked with private and public schools to transform education, from the Vittra schools in Sweden and the award-winning Sheikh Zayed Private Academy in Abu Dhabi to the Ministry of Education in Argentina. The studio currently works on the design of schools in Scandinavia, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Egypt.

For more projects see www.rosanbosch.com

Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru images / information received from IDOM Architects

Location: Lima, Lima, South America

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Comments / photos for the Markham Collegue Primary School, Lima, Peru design by IDOM and Rosan Bosch Studio page welcome