Anyone with a child in the public school system is familiar with the “Portable.” Portables are those bland, box-like, single-wide trailers that are trucked in to serve as “temporary classrooms” and wind up lingering for decades because new school construction always lags behind the school’s population needs and the district’s budget.

Instead of sticking with the traditional "inside-the-box" look of a portable classroom, why not revise the design and inject some new life into it and create a fun place for children to learn and play.  Source: Flickr

Instead of sticking with the traditional “inside-the-box” look of a portable classroom, why not revise the design and inject some new life into it and create a fun place for children to learn and play. Source: Flickr

Unfortunately, these temporary classroom designs are bland, lifeless and completely uninspiring for students. Plus, since they’re designed to be temporary, they’re often built with the cheapest materials. This leads to portable classrooms that begin falling apart after 10 years and have poorer¬†ventilation¬†than their permanent classroom counterparts.

This makes me ponder the 2024 Olympic Bid we’re vying for here in Boston. Olympic cities mean temporary structures, and these “temporary” structures often linger abandoned and an eyesore – not to mention lurking environmental hazards. While the idea of temporary buildings may seem appealing, these structures are usually built quickly, cheaply and without a plan for the future. When it comes to the prospective Boston Olympic stadium, we think a demountable and transportable building would be ideal so future Olympic sites don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Wouldn’t it be cool if the transportable Olympic Stadium’s profile became as iconic as the rings or torch?

Instead of sticking with the traditional "inside-the-box" look of a portable classroom, why not revise the design and inject some new life into it and create a fun place for children to learn and play.  Source: ModularClassrooms.org

Instead of sticking with the traditional “inside-the-box” look of a portable classroom, why not revise the design and inject some new life into it and create a fun place for children to learn and play. Source: ModularClassrooms.org

Inspiration could come from ingenious architects, like Cristof Jantzen, who has designed a high-quality, inspiring and attractive temporary classroom design. It’s built from renewable materials and optimizes natural lighting. Or, how about these sweet Observatories designed by student architects as living/studio spaces?

Source: Houzz

Source: Houzz

The well-designed and smartly built studios can be moved from site to site, leaving nary a trace behind. While temporary building design sounds simple and straightforward, it can leave quite a mess behind if the designs aren’t executed wisely. Let’s all get behind the idea of high-quality, temporary structures that are just as beneficial after their use as they are in their peak service period. Are you looking to design a temporary structure that is environmentally friendly and functional, even after you are through with it? Start a conversation with Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors.