When we think of Kuwait, not only do we have a hard time getting past the young hunter who killed a wolf and then posed for a series of family shots, but we also envision an unforgivable industrial landscape pocked with oil drilling platforms and desalination plants. While not entirely inaccurate, present day Kuwait belies a fertile past. Educators are hoping to reinvigorate “the Cradle of Civilization” with a new green roofed school designed by Perkins + Will that promotes hands-on agricultural learning.
The Kuwait Teaching School will double as a K-12 school and a teaching environment for the University students at the nearby School of Education, according to World Architecture News.
This new school is designed to promote experimental teaching, to branch away from the rote memorization model of learning that ensures that most Kuwaitis have zero knowledge of their agricultural history. To implement a more hands on approach, the designer created plenty of outdoor space at grade and even on the school’s roof.
Landscaped roofs have become very popular in the western world since they absorb carbon emissions, insulate homes, and foster creative use of urban space, and countries in the Middle East and North Africa are slowly catching on. Egypt in particular has seen a surge of rooftop farming in the last year, largely as a result of food insecurity.
And while it seems that farming in the desert is impossible, advanced irrigation techniques or even soil-less farming make it completely viable – something that the Kuwait Teaching School will hopefully demonstrate with a series of laboratories, gardens, observatories and play spaces that defy the conventional classroom-based curriculum.
This is a very exciting development for the region, and we hope it spurs a host of similar projects.
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