Nursery in Zarautz / Ignacio Quemada Arquitectos

  • 13 Dec 2012
  • Educational Selected Works
© Alejo Bagué

Architects: Ignacio Quemada Arquitectos
Location: Zarautz, Gipuzkoa,
Architect In Charge: Ignacio Quemada
Design Team: Ibón Pérez Murguiondo
Structure: José Antonio Gurruchaga
Installations: JG Ingenieros
Technical Architect: Juan Cruz Lizarraga
Budget: € 765,794
Area: 692 sqm
Year: 2010
Photography: Alejo Bagué


The Zarautz Local Authority needed to enlarge its Haurreskola (nursery) and decided to do so by taking advantage of the second Plan-E to construct a new building very close to the existing one. The tender was held in December of 2009 and the building was to be ready twelve months later.

© Alejo Bagué

This very tight schedule had a profound effect on the development of the project and the associated works and was, perhaps, the reason why the resulting building was as simplistic as the proposal which we made in the tender.

© Alejo Bagué

The plot is a right-angled triangle, practically isosceles, with one side in line with the street, another with a future 8 storey block and the hypotenuse facing towards the Abendaño canal but separated from it by a green strip (albeit not maintained).

© Alejo Bagué

As if it were a children’s game, we provided a long room along the side that faces the forthcoming new block, bringing all the service spaces together, and then the corridor and the five classrooms. To make the layout fit the plot, we rotated one of the 1-2 years classrooms, placing it on the hypotenuse and we moved the other one forwards, leaving a multi-use space, while the three 0-1 years classrooms were left adjoining the centre. The remainder of the triangle was left as an outside garden and play area.

© Alejo Bagué

During the course of the project, the Local Authority decided to split the multi-use space and join up the two 1-2 years classrooms, which meant that the location of the entrance had to be moved.

© Alejo Bagué

The simplistic geometrical design of the floorplan has a volumetric impact. The classrooms are taller rooms with single-pitched roofs opening towards the play area, to look like boxes on top of the rest of the building which is covered with a flat roof.

© Alejo Bagué

As the existing Haurreskola is grey with a few touches of colour, we have taken those colours as the “material” from which to build the elevations of the new building.

© Alejo Bagué

Without being sure exactly how we were going to build it, for the purposes of the tender we planned to use children’s coloured pencils as a theme for the elevations. The short timescale and budget meant that this idea translated into a standardised construction system. Finally, we designed and built it from LUXALON 84 R enamelled aluminium panels, selecting six colours from the reduced exterior colour chart.

© Alejo Bagué

The vertically placed panels enforced a 100m spacing which extended to all elevations, resulting in precise adjustments to the locations of all gaps. The colours are deployed in accordance with a repeated sequence whereby white panels alternate with coloured panels, such that in front of the spaces in the east and south elevations the pattern of colour is transformed into a vertical lattice in which the coloured panels cross over the spaces while the white ones are interrupted.

© Alejo Bagué

The corners are covered The vertically placed panels enforced a 100m spacing which extended to all elevations, resulting in precise adjustments to the locations of all gaps. The colours are deployed in accordance with a repeated sequence whereby white panels alternate with coloured panels, such that in front of the spaces in the east and south elevations the pattern of colour is transformed into a vertical lattice in which the coloured panels cross over the spaces while the white ones are interrupted. With folded aluminium plates, which have the same visible thickness in each elevation as the panels themselves. With this uniform approach to the elevations, the space, while being made up of the collection of the flat roof and the boxes with pitched roofs, is not decomposed into separate pieces, rather can be understood as a whole, a “sculpture” composed of a mass of strips of different colours.

© Alejo Bagué

Although the building is not a “sustainable development” in nature and is conventional in that regard, it is the first building project we have developed from start to finish based on the ECODESIGN ISO 14.006 standard.

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Cite: "Nursery in Zarautz / Ignacio Quemada Arquitectos" 13 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=305442>