17 of the most beautiful schools around the world

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Mathias Eis Schultz

Schools are meant to be places that stimulate, invigorate, and engage students.

On rare occasion, they can be awe-inspiring, too.

Beautiful schools can be found all around the world – from Australia to Alabama, Denmark to Cambodia. Some are designed to resist natural disasters, while others provide first-rate education to the underprivileged.

Here are some of our favorites.


OA Kindergarten, located in Saitama, Japan, is nearly earthquake-proof. It’s made almost entirely of shipping containers to make the school as stable as possible.

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Hibino Sekkei

But you wouldn’t know that from the inside, where pale wood and light-filled spaces give kids plenty of room to play around.

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Hibino Sekkei

Melbourne’s School of Design at The University of Melbourne features an incredible tree-like structure in the main atrium of the building.

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World Architecture Festival

The interior almost has an outback feel to it, with natural colors and cargo nets.

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World Architecture Festival

During the day, the TAC SEV New Campus in Tarsus, Turkey might look like an office park …

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World Architecture Festival

… but once the sun sets, the campus emits a warm orange glow.

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World Architecture Festival

In Niddrie, Australia, the Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School features a jester-like color scheme. Sloping walls give the building a playful feel.


The fluid lines and vibrant colors create a rich visual experience.

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World Architecture Festival

The all-female student body certainly seems to enjoy it.

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World Architecture Festival

The Kollaskolan school in Kungsbacka, Sweden was built in 2014 by Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture. On the outside it’s rather plain, but inside …

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World Architecture Festival

… light dances around the walls and pastel yellows and blues offer a burst of color.

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World Architecture Festival

Bangkok’s Ivy Bound International School looks more like a mansion than a place where groups of children learn about Thai culture.

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World Architecture Festival

Colors pop at the Sra Pou Vocational School in Cambodia. Villagers can visit the brick building to learn arithmetic​ or how to start a small business.

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OpenBulidings

Tezuka Architects, the designers of Fuji Kindergarten in Tachikawa, Japan, wanted to give kids the freedom to explore without limits. Students can run around on the roof and climb trees to their hearts’ content.

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Tezuka Architects/Flickr

The space also weaves nature into its design. Classrooms contain real trees that extend through the boardwalk above.

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Tezuka Architects/Flickr

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University is a master class in green architecture, from its rooftop gardens …

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World Architecture Festival

… to its tiered interiors.

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Shutterstock

Shunde Primary School, located in Guangdong Province, China, was built by K2LD Architects.


Its crisscrossing sky-walks throw cooling shadows onto the campus below.

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World Architecture Festival

Designed by Hibinosekkei + Youji no Shiro, the Hanazono Kindergarten and Nursery in Japan was named a finalist at the 2016 World Architecture Festival.

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Studio Bauhaus

Its breezy, wood-constructed classrooms that feed into the outside have become a trendy school design in Japan. The flexibility lets kids easily move from playtime to more formal instruction.

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Studio Bauhaus

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios designed the Plymouth School of Creative Arts in the UK. It also was selected as a finalist in this year’s World Architecture Festival.

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Plymouth School of Creative Arts

Inside the brick-red building are lofty ceilings and innumerable walls adorned with student art, ranging from oil paintings to graffiti tags.

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Plymouth School of Creative Arts

Blended learning — a form of education that relies almost solely on computers and tablets — is at the heart of Copenhagen’s Ørestad Gymnasium. Kids study together in large groups for most of the day, away from traditional teacher-guided instruction.

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Mathias Eis Schultz

Tokyo’s Waseda University Senior High School features an industrial, Kubrick-esque campus that is nearly all gray.

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World Architecture Festival

The motif even penetrates the auditorium, which has paneled gray walls and black and white seats.

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World Architecture Festival

Nearby is the Toho Gakuen School of Music, also located in Tokyo, which won the 2015 World Architecture Festival award for Higher Education & Research.

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World Architecture Festival

Serving all ages, from middle school to advanced master’s candidates, the music school uses glass walls and long lines to create a feeling of depth.

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World Architecture Festival

Then there’s the Russian Ballet School. Like many other schools, the exterior is humbly designed …

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World Architecture Festival

… but once you step inside, the wooden and glass designs are instantly striking. The World Architecture Festival crowned the stunning ballet academy the best designed school of 2015.

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World Architecture Festival

In Birmingham, Alabama, the Indian Springs school allows kids to study both inside and outside. In 2016, the American Institute of Architects awarded it an Education Facilities Design Award, in part for its plant-lined elevated walkways.

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Lake Flato Architects

The 350-acre boarding and day school blends in with nature to create a calming learning environment with plenty of light.

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Lake Flato Architects