Architects: Ventura Valcarce Arquitecto
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Cost: 3.180.913 €
Area: 4178.0 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Francisco Nogueira
From the architect. The existing building, was constructed in a problematic spot-on some very steep terrain and required an urgent renovation and expansion.
The project was based on the construction of a clear and orderly hierarchical focused on the disposition of three pristine cube volumes and two prisms. The overwhelming volume of the original building, covered with corrugated sheet metal to regain its pure cubic form and align it with the other elements of the project.
The order is naturally established: on one side, contains the highest level of school classrooms, on the other pre-school classrooms, dining and sports facilities, and in between, with a clear gesture and energy, the backbone that links providing structure to the whole organism.
The lines are clear and precise, and the organization uses as well. Everything has its right place, following an order and hierarchy. The clear structure of space contributes to the formation of the students giving them the serenity, order and clarity necessary for entry into the complex world of modern society with a strong and resilient individual basis. The microcosm of the school is a paradigm of society.
The more pragmatic aspects of architecture have not been forgotten, but are subordinate to the primary purpose to enhance it and give it more features. The visual connection between indoor and outdoor spaces has intensified under the premise that both are spaces on the learning and, therefore, can not and should be segregated. The benefits of good guidance and ventilation of the intermediate spaces and gardens, as well as the preference and attractiveness of the views were considered in the design of all elements.
The oblong body of the extension was implemented parallel to the street following a strict logic in order to: provide natural light to the pre-school classrooms, creating a secondary access that avoids the traffic courts and protect the inland areas of recreational.
The strong topographic elevation took advantage having a volume of two half-buried plants easily accessed from the car park by a footbridge leading to the deck. On the south side, a natural slope separates the building from the street and rear gardens created for top level classes. On the north side, playgrounds and recreation areas are in contact with the lower level, which houses the dining room, locker rooms and gym, with the respective storage rooms, facilities and setting. The building has a concrete pergola on deck, ready for future expansion of the classroom.
The intervention in the existing building was mainly focused on the redistribution of the classroom to improve access and add new program. Despite the corrugated liner, connecting classrooms and courtyards, the result of the setbacks of the original plant, with the exterior has been maintained through the use of perforated corrugated also lighten the heaviness cubic volume. The facades of the building are made using opaque corrugated metal sheets, punched and painted.
The third volume, a structural spine, connects the existing building horizontally with the building expansion at the level of access and giving continuity to all floors vertically by an elevator in the entrance and two stairs at each end.