Gandra School / CNLL


Architects: Atelier Nuno Lacerda Lopes
Location: ,
Project: 2009_2010
Client: Paredes’ City Hall
Architecture Coordination: Nuno Lacerda Lopes
Architecture Colaboration: CNLL, Márcia Areal, Vanessa Tavares, Natália Rocha, Nuna Castro
Specialities: Grupo DAJ
Lot area: 12 267 sqm
Gross Building Area: 4 227 sqm
Constructor: Gabriel Couto
Model: CNLL
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra



This is a two-storey school center based on a modular composition organized around a central courtyard. The classrooms are configured as single modules, juxtaposed and clearly perceptible, where variations of the implementation’s orientation and the roof’s slopes determine the formal design of this schools center.

This results in a fragmentation of the global volume and roofing design, which cut out a silhouette of relative informality along the complex’s development. The different orientations and roof slopes grant a playful appearance that fits the scholar theme and its environment.


The circulation area – the corridor – is a bond element between the different functional areas and adopts the guiding lines and breaks defined by the classroom modules’ array, building a sense of unity and set in the individual volumes’ juxtaposition.


It configures a dynamic and spatially rich path that provides access and simultaneously defines the shape of the central courtyard transposing its strong irregular geometry that characterizes the space.


The asymmetric shape of the central courtyard is compensated by large openings through the “curtain wall” system with a strictly defined metric, which seek not only to stimulate the inner- patio relation but to maintain the volumetric purity and abstraction.


It is an unique solution in the educational framework with a strong modular sense, which conveys a distinguished spatial experience. The articulation of compositional variations renders a conceptual and consistent dynamic, controlled through design.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Gandra School / CNLL" 28 Nov 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    beautiful plan!

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  • Paul

    This building was built too close to the river and ona hillside place. So, the number of hours with sunlight is reduced. There is not parking, there is not good acess. Basically, they chose the worst place of city to build this school.
    The building is good, but very limited to the referred bad and short place. and the places for children playing is reduced, the spaces to contact with nature are reduced.
    The place is wrong in the google map.