Can space shape how and what children learn? This Tel Aviv school for students with disabilities does

To give our audience eyes and ears into the live judging sessions that took place at Frame Awards 2020, we're sharing coverage of the insightful jury conversations that decided the winning projects. Below, we celebrate the recipient of the Social Award: The First Inclusive School by Sarit Shani Hay. Find the full collection of reports in our newly released May/June 2020 issue, Frame 134.

Tel Aviv – ‘A very authentic project.’ Kaave Pour of Space10 spoke for the entire jury when he praised The First Inclusive School in Tel Aviv. The project ‘challenges what children learn and how they learn – and embeds those findings into an architectural programme.’

‘It felt like every single photo – every detail – contained a story or element that possibly goes back 20 years,’ mused Adam Nathanial Furman. Since the birth of her daughter two decades prior, Sarit Shani Hay has dedicated her life’s work to child-centric design and pedagogical environments. The First Inclusive School, the first of its kind in Israel, is a prototypical public institution that builds on itself as its students – 25 percent of whom are diagnosed with physical or autistic disabilities – age. Hay’s school currently educates about 500 students over 12 grades, with plans to expand in size and number. Furman burst into laughter: ‘I love the way she said “prototype” – it’s a huge school!’

Jury member Kaave Pour of Space10 was won over by The First Inclusive School’s authenticity: ‘It challenges what children learn and how they learn – and embeds those findings into an architectural programme.’

‘It’s clear that Hay really worked with these disabled kids and knows what to do,’ said Regine Leibinger of Barkow Leibinger. ‘The way that she presented the project was very authentic, and I believe her architecture is quite authentic as well.’ 

Frame Awards 2020’s Societal category was proudly sponsored by Iris Ceramic Group. The People’s Choice award went to Phvlo Hatch by The Good Studio.

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