Endorsed by

2018 National Architecture Awards: Australian Award for International Architecture

School-in-a-Box by Stephen Collier Architects International Architecture: Australian Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

What a simple, inventive concept this is – a box of resources, a toolkit, comprising basic low-tech items that might help anyone, anywhere, gain an education. A box that is small and light enough to be packed, transported and handled with ease. A box that is tough and durable enough to withstand the impact of travel, building, dismantling and rebuilding time and again. School-in-a-Box contains a range of educational resources to both supplement and support local schools and communities in need and has the capacity to extend its reach to adult literacy so parents can learn at the same time as their children. School-in-a-Box is a three-dimensional puzzle, comprising a polycarbonate container that splits open to reveal a number of components able to be configured in several ways to allow for diverse patterns of use. A local community is first asked to contribute materials and the construction of a platform. The box contains the school – two plywood cabinets; a translucent, stretchy tent; solar panels and equipment; two laptops; stationery and books; a water storage tank and a filter. Architects are great problem-solvers. School-in-a-Box is an architectural solution to an educational problem. It highlights the collaborative role and impact that architects can have beyond a conventional understanding of the profession.

School-in-a-Box was published in Architecture Australia Jul/Aug 2017. Read the article here.


Stephen Collier Architects
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Stephen Collier (architect), Jordan McIlroy, Paolo Stracchi (graduates of architecture)
Site details
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Education
Project Details
Status Built
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