3 of the most beautiful schools in the world

Nic LehouxRobert Hull designed the Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan.

On Friday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the winners of the 2018 Honour Awards – considered the highest achievement in architecture and design. The winning architects are all based in the United States, but the buildings are located in countries around the world.

The professional organisation awarded 16 works in three categories: architecture, interior design, and urban design. The winners range from a waterfront promenade in Chicago, Illinois to a fire station in Mercer Island, Washington.

Three schools completed within the last five years received awards. Check them out below.


Designed by Dake Wells Architecture, Reeds Spring Middle School in Missouri is nestled in a hill.

Gayle Babcock | Architectural Image Works

Ample sunlight permeates throughout the 78,000-square-foot building. The school won in the interior architecture category.

Gayle Babcock | Architectural Image Works

Most classrooms have direct views of the trees. Teachers can use outdoor classrooms on each level as well.

Gayle Babcock | Architectural Image Works

“The result is a scheme that celebrates the rugged beauty of the site, with large gathering spaces below grade providing storm safety, and classrooms among the trees,” the architects wrote on their site.

Gayle Babcock | Architectural Image Works

The Gohar Khatoon Girls’ School in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan also took an AIA award. The late Robert Hull designed the work. which won for outstanding architecture, before he died in 2014.

Nic Lehoux

Six emerging female artists painted murals in the school’s central staircases.

Nic Lehoux

Several thousand women and girls attend the school, which has a mission of promoting gender inclusion in Afghan society.

Nic Lehoux

The building “elevates respect for women and girls overall … adding an intent to create an urban oasis and promote community engagement,” the AIA jury wrote.

Nic Lehoux

The Steven L. Anderson Design Center extension to Vol Walker Hall at the University of Arkansas is a modern building that pays homage to the campus’ historical character.

Timothy Hurlsey

The 37,000-square-foot addition features red accents, like the skylight below, throughout the building. It was honored in the architecture category.

Timothy Hurlsey

Every floor features studios for architecture and design students to work on projects.

Timothy Hurlsey

A fourth-floor sky terrace also offers a spectacular view of the Boston Mountains.

Timothy Hurlsey

“The overall design is a didactic model, establishing a tangible discourse between the past and present, while providing state-of-the-art-facilities for 21st century architectural and design education,” the AIA jury wrote.

Timothy Hurlsey

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