WAN Future Projects Education Award 2015 Winner Announced

Gail Taylor
Thursday 18 Feb 2016

OSPA Arquitetura e Urbanismo celebrated as winners with their UFCSPA Campus Igara project in Canoas, Brazil

It is with great pleasure that we congratulate OSPA Arquitetura e Urbanismo on winning the WAN Future Projects Education Award 2015 for their outstanding work on the UFCSPA Campus Igara project in Brazil. 

The winner was chosen from a shortlist of six high calibre international projects by our judges, who also wished to make special mention of one of the other shortlisted projects: NAC Architecture’s school project in Seattle, Hazel Wolf K-8, which came an extremely close second.

This year we were fortunate indeed to able to welcome three highly respected judges to the panel: Jude Harris, Director at Jestico + Whiles and co-leader of the practice’s education studio; Ole Smith, Director and founder of NOA – Nordic Architects; Keith Papa, Architect Director London specialising in design for education at Building Design Partnership. 

All three were very impressed with the overall inventiveness and flair of the six shortlisted projects, but in the end they agreed on our deserving winner, Campus Igara, of which they said: “You have to agree that it is pushing the typology of sport in education.”

The new campus at UFCSPA (Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre) aims to be more than a public institution. OSPA’s core premise for the development of the 26,385 sq m Campus Igara was that it should also be a public space. The result? What at first glance may appear to be a programmatic solution of volumetric density is soon revealed to be a fluid and permeable square.

The program develops within the natural extension of the sidewalk, from which people can walk directly into the sports building. The open space articulates the Campus’ functions far beyond academic activities – which are housed in the two high-rise blocks - to encourage a diverse range of people to use it. 

Designing a double-faced site created two opportunities for connection with the city. According to OSPA, the conventional concept of front and back, public versus services was ‘never an option’. A longitudinal axis, accessible and inviting, connects the two faces, or ‘interfaces’. 

Life on campus never stops, and a project cannot halt or even disrupt the daily routine. Construction phases can often be as long as the time a student is at the institution, and, say OSPA: “Possibly excluding some architects and engineers, no-one wants to study at a construction site.” 

OSPA therefore came up with a solution that will not only reduce waste and spending but will also shorten the duration of the construction: a mixed system of steel and concrete. Also, the two sides of the site area will allow them to solve the problem of works on site in a ‘controlled way’. 

Renderings of Campus Igara show a multi-level central complex with a low-level plaza for social engagement leading through to a series of covered sports pitches. The roof of this structure incorporates a floodlit football pitch with surrounding areas for spectators or informal meetings. Our judges all described the plans as ‘grand’, ‘striking’ and ‘very strong’.

The design team has introduced spiralling staircases to encourage users to select the ‘healthy’ option rather than taking a lift; this measure also acts as a simplification of internal flows. The buildings are orientated to receive lower thermal load plus natural lighting and ventilation.

With the judging concluded for this year, we’d like to thank our panel and everyone who entered their projects into the WAN Future Projects Education Award 2015.


Gail Taylor

Features Editor

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