With Rooms to Grow

As education turns into an increasingly competitive global business, universities are using design more than ever as a way to set themselves apart. They're employing star architects like Americans Frank Gehry and Robert Venturi--or Britain's Norman Foster, whose stunning new library for the campus of Berlin's Free University has drawn so many design buffs that taking pictures inside is no longer allowed. Others, like Swarthmore College near Philadelphia, have caught attention with ecofriendly "green" buildings that use recycled materials and cut energy use to a minimum. More and more colleges are also rethinking how to redesign their teaching spaces to make better use of technology for professors and students alike--and to accommodate the widespread shift from traditional lectures to interactive, team-based learning practices. On these pages, NEWSWEEK presents some of the most interesting examples of recent university architecture.