SCHOOL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION, by J. A. Godfrey; A.R.1.11.A., and R. Castle Cleary, A.R.I.B.A. (Architectural Press, 36s.).
THIS is a practical textbook for the architect and deals with its subject in a technical way, but it is useful also for the "educationist" or pro
mister who, since he pays the piper, naturally wants to call the tune. The evil that architects do. of course, lives after them more than with most professions, and as it is by no means easy to remove it, it is important to see that the work is well done at the start.
What is so striking about this book is the degree of post-war change it reveals in building practice in connection with schools.
In 1945 building regulations were put forward by the Ministry of Education which have now had to be superseded, partly on financial grounds but also in consequence of a more practical realisation of what is required in school construction. The 1945 regulations combined extravagance with an inadequate conception of the planning of schools in the light of practical needs. Since 1945 the Ministry of Education has itself pointed in a new direction, that of an imaginative study of the function and purpose of each individual school, and the 1951 regulations are simpler, more economical and more practical as a result.
They , also offer more freedom, and freedom is a dangerous gift.
So while this book deals with general constructional problems and the chapter on new as opposed to traditional methods of construction is both interesting and important-its main stress is upon the relation between the school's purpose and the school's construction. A classroom is not just a room-it is a room in which certain types of activity take place. These activities will determine the whole of its construction. and as the views of educationists on the hest type of activity change, so will the type of construction need to change. Illustrations are numerous and upto-date and are well chosen to bring home the points made in the text. It is not a book for the casual reader, but those who want to find out something about the subject will find what they want here. C. E. R.