Public opinion is frequently divided when it comes to the question whether the seemingly elaborate equipment of a building is justified, and this issue quickly becomes a bar-room topic. This is, however, different for kindergartens, schools and cultural institutions: there has long been general agreement that each Euro spent on and every effort made for child- and education-oriented buildings is a wise investment for the future. So many buildings with an ambitious design caught our attention when doing our research on the topic of public buildings that it was difficult to make a choice. Even though the approaches are very different, the honest effort for the wellbeing of the user and the didactical task is more than apparent in all selected examples – but see for yourself from page 84 onwards. Successful projects are as good as their equipment – and that’s what our comprehensive special section on the topic of “children’s furniture” is about. In public buildings perfect lighting is indispensable. Everything also focused on luminaires at the Light + Building in March. Starting on page 32, we have composed the innovations and trends for you. Not exactly new, but more relevant than ever is the consideration on how church buildings – if they are no longer needed – can be sensibly used in the future. In our “Ideas” heading starting on page 128, we present seven profaned churches, where people no longer pray, but skate, sing, live, work, do exercises or bury the dead! We were able to visit a particularly impressive example of a church conversion in Milan, where CLS Architetti set up their architectural practice in a part of the San Paolo Converso Church. We will report on that and anything else we saw and experienced in Milan on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile (photo on the left) in our upcoming AIT issues – a foretaste of the furnishing trends is already available on our facebook page. The start into an especially varied and brimming issue is, however, marked by a sad occasion: We bow to the life’s work of the magnificent Zaha Hadid.
Petra Stephan, Dipl.-Ing.