Architects: Xavier Vilalta Studio
Location: Els Alamús, Spain
Client: Alamús City Council
Structural Engineering: GN Arquitectos
Quantity Surveyor: Mario Campos
Design year: 2005-2006
Construction year: 2007-2008
Budget: US $304,088
Constructed Area: 254 sqm
Photographs: Jordi Anguera
Els Alamús, a small village of seven hundred inhabitants, is situated on a hill in the middle of the plain of Lleida, surrounded by a landscape where are predominant agricultural fields and fruit trees, a geometric landscape, planned and designed, result of the work of men’s hands and the engineering.
The nursery is located on the borderline between the town and countryside, next to the only road access and exit of the village, surrounded by a sports area, an orchard that will be transformed into a plaza in the future and a slope that separates the level of the houses and countryside.
From the first moment the project creates two volumes: one on the bottom, the classrooms of children and the courtyard, supported by the existing agricultural wall and following the direction of agricultural fields, and the other one above, the offices of teachers in the direction of the houses of the village, watching the children courtyard. The two volumes offer a dual access to the school and are connected by a staircase that is inserted into the natural slope.
The personal experience: memories of childhood amid spun countless fruit trees, shade filtered spaces, trees perfectly organized with a calculated geometry and worked out during the winter… has been materialized in the volume of classrooms.
The spaces are versatile, continuous and have a controlled lighting. The lobby and the first classroom can be transformed into a dining hall, the classrooms, connected through the changing room to the courtyard, enjoying an excellent orientation to the east by the horizontal window that rests on the slope, and a pixilated image of a bunch of leaves gives the interior corridor screened light from the west.
In the construction, industrial materials have been used: steel, concrete, glass and wood with two exceptions: a roof garden that wants the village inhabitants to keep looking at the countryside and some color glass that make the corridor access an area for fun of children and that the building has the representative character to welcome the population and the visitors of Els Alamús.