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Etania Green School wins * DESIGN OF THE YEAR 2020, at the prestigious President*s Award of Singapore
The President*s Design Award (P*DA) is Singapore’s prestigious honour for designers and designs across all disciplines. When it was first established 15 years ago, P*DA was aiming to not only recognise the significant achievements of Singapore’s design talents and the contributions they have made to Singapore’s economic competitiveness and quality of life, but also nurture among Singaporeans a greater awareness of quality design in all areas. The Etania Green School co-designed by Architecture BRIO and Singapore based BillionBricks won the Design of the Year award, recognising humanism and innovation in school design.
The Jury Report read:
“More than just a school building, Etania Green School is a learning ecosystem designed for the tens of thousands of stateless children whose parents work in the oil palm plantations of Sabah. The school provides an educational pedagogy in which teachers and students collectively exchange knowledge, spark curiosity and explore self-learning.
Serving an invisible population of minimal means, the design exemplifies a high-impact, low-cost model. It is sensitive to the environment, allowing for natural light and ventilation for most of the school hours. At sundown, it runs on solar power. The building, made of five decommissioned shipping containers and recycled timber that allowed for quick assembly, can be expanded in the future should the need arise. Such a modular design can also be duplicated in other locations to serve other overlooked communities.
The Jury upholds the project as an impressive example of how design can catalyse social change by responding to a defining humanitarian issue – the millions of stateless children worldwide. Etania Green School confers identity on this marginalised community and cultivates a strong sense of belonging, which is nicely summed up by a parent – “Our children don’t want to come home and [they] love the school”.”