Dezeen writes up about new rules banning curves and unusual shapes in school buildlings: http://www.dezeen.com/2012/10/03/uk-government-bans-curved-school-buildings/
From the Dezeen article:
“These projects have been criticised for being too costly by education secretary Michael Gove, who in a conference last year said: ”We won’t be getting Richard Rogers to design your school, we won’t be getting any award-winning architects to design it, because no one in this room is here to make architects richer.””
This hostility towards educated professionals and it makes me wonder if the government is hostile to education in general. Thus the move to restrict architecture isn’t just about being unwilling to spend on education, it’s hostility towards the more modern, more flexible, less authoritarian learning styles as accommodated by less rigid architecture. The ban rules out curves, indents, dog legs and notches in the plan, the kind of techniques that create implied division of space, that break down the more confrontational lecture style classroom. It also rules out curtain walls, lest students see the outdoors and suspect they’re not in a prison, I guess?
Specifically it calls for “simple, orthogonal forms”. Yes, ruling out notches/indents minimises the amount of perimeter wall, which is the most expensive. But school-sized, orthogonal, unarticulated buildings with small windows sound like hostile, authoritarian places to me. Hardly conducive to a curious mind.