Architects: Batlle i Roig Arquitectes - Enric Batlle, Joan Roig, Iván Sánchez
Location: Tarragona, Spain
Collaborators: Albert Gil, Oriol Vañó, Carla Cadavid, Matteo Lencioni
Area: 3,555 sqm
Photography: Courtesy of Batlle i Roig
Nowadays designing an education facility, either a school o a high school, means working with a series of preset and regulated parameters by the administrations commissioning the project. These parameters go from the qualification and quantification of the program, to the election of the structural and construction methods to erect the building. This design constraint favors undoubtedly the speed of the design process and the construction of the building, and has become over time a typological system that delves into the concept of generic architecture, that has seems so appreciable at the moment due to economical reasons.
In this context, the work of the designer should focus primarily on two no less crucial aspects: improving technically, to the extent that is possible, the typology, adapting it to the successive regulation changes and market innovations, and place it logically and appropriately on the assigned site. In the Tarragona school this two aspects have been refined having as a premise to increase the values of sustainability and environmental respect.
The project consists on a 79.90 x 19.15m rectangular shaped building, with the gym as an outbuilding on the north side of the site, and a space between the two constructions hosts the primary school porch. We propose a compact building, which minimizes the economical impact on the facades, with a simple organization that allows standardizing and prefabricating one and all the structural and construction elements. The structure has been designed in precast concrete as well as the closures and facades treated with a minimum fenestration, to adequate the building to the climate.
The situation on the site has tried to properly position the classrooms and at the same time align the volume with the main street. The entrance to the school is located on the midpoint of the site to minimize the earthwork economical impact. This central entrance from an exterior covered area, allows us an agile distribution of the different rooms, from a central hall in with the vertical communication suite. The implantation of the school in a single level to encourage its construction, forces to adapt the site trough terraces that allow placing the sports court and the different playgrounds.
The quality of the precast concrete wall enclosure did not need a final treatment on site. Still, it was decided to add color in some parts of the building coinciding with the choice of color on the interior finishing materials. These decisions, and the overprinted graphics on the façade, characterize in a specific way a building that pretended to be as generic as possible due to its typology.