Friday, May 2, 2008

The Spaceship School

The locals are so used to it by now they think nothing of it, but people visiting Berea for the first time are often startled to find this building (looking like an odd cross between a buddhist temple and an alien spacecraft) in the midst of a rural area of the quaint little town of Berea, KY.

This is Berea Community School, believe it or not. Why would a school in a small community that prides itself on its rustic and woodsy heritage look like something Ming The Merciless would live in? I dunno.

The picture just doesn't do justice to the attention-commanding sight this UFO schoolhouse really is. The school is a complete concentric ring, made up of several pods revolving around a center one. The classrooms are mostly open areas with no walls or doors, which can be a profoundly annoying experience for all. This was some Frank Lloyd Wrong's idea of "progressive" architecture for schools. (Thank God it never became a trend.)

View it on Google Maps here.


Anonymous said...

Bill's Branch Elementary School in Mc Kee, Kentucky is the same type of school; however, it is lacking the ornate roof. I think it was designed by the same architect. It does have a later modification from the late eighties which also makes it look different. Yet it is open on the inside and built around a large pit or circular depression in the middle of one of its two halves.

Sara said...

Apollo High School in Owensboro is similar. It is made up of four outer circles, and has a glass "dome" in the front. When the school was first built (in the 70's I believe) the center area (which is now the commons or lunch area) was an open courtyard. The school was designed and named (obviously) after the Apollo Moon Missions.