The Latest SEEDoc: Escuela Ecológica in Lima, Peru

SEEDocs: Escuela Ecologica from Design Corps on Vimeo.

The latest installment of SEEDocs, the series of fascinating mini-documentaries on award-winning public interest design projects was revealed today. While the first spotlighted an incredible community garden in New Orleans, designed/built with help from the Tulane City Center, and the last on the revitalization of an abandoned, abestos-ridden school in Kansas City, this month’s doc takes us out of the U.S., to a school in a poor neighborhood in the desert city of Lima, .

More info on this incredible project, after the break…

The Pitagoras School Classrooms, as they exist now.

With help from a local architect on the ground and a group of professors and students from the University of Washington, students and parents at the Pitagoras Primary School have constructed a new green space – and are in the process of constructing a new classroom building.

Both are sorely needed: students currently learn in small, dark rooms with corrugated metal roofs (making the classrooms uncomfortably hot); and since Lima has the lowest green space per capita in all of South America, the community desperately wanted a park where the children could play and the community could gather.

Rendering of the new classroom building planned for the Pitagoras School in Lima. Rendering image courtesy of the University of Washington.

The project epitomizes the community-participatory approach that both the Design Corps and SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) Network, the sponsors of the docs, spouse as vital for public-interest projects such as these.

And while the process may be much more time-consuming, it’s worth it in the end. As Ben Spencer, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, puts it in the video: “I love, as much as any architect, to build a building and spend all night figuring out the details and iterating different forms. On the one hand, I think that’s an incredibly important process in and of itself, that design process. But if you can marry that with the ideas and aspirations of a community, then I think you have something that’s much richer and more beautiful.”

Rendering of the new classroom building planned for the Pitagoras School in Lima. Rendering image courtesy of the University of Washington.

More Info at www.seedocs.org

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "The Latest SEEDoc: Escuela Ecológica in Lima, Peru" 25 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=286194>

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