An integrated approach

07 Mar 2011

a3gm completes new school in an old playground

This school building is designed on a plot with previous use as a garden and play area for children, in a small town with natural surroundings of great beauty. The first requirement of the intervention was to maintain the values of both the plot and the landscape and to preserve existing trees, taking care of visions from the village and from the traditional points of observation.

The building is located on the plot to order a series of open spaces: an access area to the urban scale main facade, a north narrow band next to neighbouring plots to set up as a sequence of patio, and a free zone south and west to which the four educational pieces open through plans protected by wooden slats. Thus the perception of the school is double: from neighbouring plots it appears as a broken wall, gardens and some trees, with a scale similar to the traditional residential; from the south - on the river bank - it appears as a small group of pieces juxtaposed with greater height and open to the play areas.

Emphasis is set on the circulation and relationship area. It is constructed with a certain generosity, especially in terms of natural lighting. The north wall is developed from the access to the service pack expansion in a broken form, underlined by openings dividing it into planes. Towards the south playground this area expands in two little covered porches that are configured between the classroom volumes.

The constructive characteristics of the building seek to take advantage of the values of traditional construction, in terms of passive conditioning especially, adding some contemporary contributions as large glazed surfaces shaded with slats, vegetal roofs, coating materials derived from wood, natural rubber, etc. The implementation of the green roof responds to sustainability criteria in two ways: integration into an environment of great value, helping to the fragmented perception of the building, while also making a contribution to the passive conditioning of the common areas.

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