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The Siberian Times

Irkutsk to get futuristic new $58 million Smart School, unique in the world

By The Siberian Times reporter
07 September 2015

Stunning new Danish-designed buildings will offer new hope to orphans and their adoptive families.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Picture: Dezeen Daily

The modern 20-hectare campus on the banks of the Angarsk River in the historic city of Irkutsk will cater for 1,040 students aged three to 18. A key element is a village for families adopting children, but it will also be a kindergarten, an elementary and a high school, as well as a cultural and recreation centre.

Smart School board member and Russian businesswoman Tina Kandelaki said it was a pioneering model, bringing a new concept of education and targeting individual students' needs. 'We are implementing a model of socially responsible education,' she said. 

'Smart School is intended to be a real home for adopted children, who will live with foster parents in a specially-built village and will go to school with children from regular families. While engineering this educational cluster, we pursued the goal of creating a community that can provide resources for self-development to all its members. It is, therefore, important that we will provide the best possible education for children who under other circumstances would not have the resources to obtain this level of education.'

futuristic school Siberia


futuristic school Siberia


futuristic school Siberia
'The goal is to raise a generation of active, enterprising and creative people'. Pictures: Dezeen Daily


Danish architecture studio CEBRA won an interenational competition to design the 'new kind of school' in Irkutsk. The modernistic design involves a ring of connected buildings with overhanging eaves and a landscaped 'meadow' in the centre. The total size of the buildings is 31,000 square metres. 

'By turning a string of individual buildings containing the main functions into a ring, the emerging central area becomes an interconnected space of cross-functional relations,' said CEBRA co-founder Carsten Primdahl. 'At the same time, the gaps between the buildings along the ring make the meadow both visually and physically accessible from the outside, and allow for activities to diffuse between the meadow and the surrounding landscape.'

A white ridged roof will unite the structures, creating sheltered spaces in between. 

The varying heights of the ridges and sizes of the eaves are intended to indicate the different functions of the buildings. 

futuristic school Siberia


futuristic school Siberia


futuristic school Siberia
'The school is intended to be a real home for adopted children'. Pictures: Dezeen Daily


Mark Sartan, general director of the project, said the goal is to 'raise a generation of active, enterprising and creative people and provide an opportunity to generate positive changes in the educational system and the social sphere of the region and the country'.

The project, which is funded by the New House Foundation, has been under development by education experts for more than two years. 

It is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Comments (5)

Jaker, OK. That is right
Enrique, Spain
09/09/2015 19:59
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Please read my comment before commenting back to me something I didn't write. I said it should be an only orphan etc, school.What's discriminating about sticking up for the less privileged in society? & by God there are enough orphans in Russia, maybe even in Siberia, to fill this new start up school chock - a - block. But then again places like this start up with good intentions only for money men to step in & restore the old "Status Quo" dictum way of things. In other words, "the rich kids will be the pupils...being taught by the rich teachers" at this so called futuristic "Smart School". Just wait & see!
Jaker, Dundalk
09/09/2015 11:28
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Jaker, if they are orphans they have the same right as any other citizen to be in that school. No priviledges but also not discrimination.
Enrique, Spain
08/09/2015 21:19
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They should make up the rules now; "No Kremlin children, no Dumas children, no FSB children, no Oligarch's children, & lastly no Tzar's children". In fact, it should be only for orphaned/disadvantaged/disabled children. Oh & I hate the term "Smart School" that already sounds very snobby & rich.

Course, it will need money so as to run such a mammoth place, well there you are then, the Oligarch & high ups who have avoided taxes because they're allowed to, can pay for it & so should the state. I mean, the money they spend creating weapons of war would pay for it alone. As the Meerkat says, "Simpools"!
Jaker, Dundalk
08/09/2015 06:17
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and hopefully it will be a school for everybody. and not for a few privileged rich. and kids who are really clever will get their chance. not the rich flops where daddy pays the way to the diploma.
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
07/09/2015 19:51
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