Architects: Ludens + R arquitectos
Location: Mexico D.F., México
Collaborators: Iván Hernández Quintela, Mateo Riestra, Claudia Rodríguez, Tania Rodríguez, Andrea Joller, Erik Kobayashi
Area: 400 sqm
Proyect Year: 2012
Photographs: Ramiro Chaves
Project – architecture as an educational tool:
The RIA rural Project (Red de Innovación y Aprendizaje) is conceived as a model that could be adapted and reproduced throughout Mexico. Three walls positioned within the landscape organize the program. The first wall contains the administrative program, the second wall contains the educational programs, and the third wall contemplates contains the services and a more flexible program that responds to specific needs of each community.
Model for reproduction – flexibility of a diagram
The model is conceived like a Venn diagram, where each wall generates a radio of action. The placement, extension and orientation of each wall adjust to each site without losing the general scheme. As a result, the model allows for specific response from site to site, from community to community, without losing the general spatial organization of the model.
Materiality – hard and soft
Concretes frames that are then refilled with the materials available in each location generate each wall. Programs are then attached to the walls in lighter materials (wood and plastic). The result is an architecture of bones that give the school its structure, plus an architecture of muscles that can grow or be removed is the school requires it.
As the project is located in rural areas, the landscape is considered and approached as an indispensable educational tool. Taking advantage of the Venn diagram overlap, each wall generates an extended program that overlaps the program of the other walls. In consequence, the administrative wall expands towards the service wall to create an informal auditorium; The service wall extends towards the educational wall to create a horticultural garden; The educational wall generates towards the administrative wall an open space that can be used as an extended classroom while also working as a vestibule.
First model constructed
The first center was constructed in San Felipe del Progreso, in the State of Mexico. The site has a surface of four hundred square meters with two hundred and forty of them constructed. Most materials used were selected for their local availability and the construction systems applied are taken from local self-made constructions. The walls were filled with cement blocks and painted with white gypsum (like most constructions in the area).
The floor is made out of red brick in open areas and concrete in classrooms. The classrooms walls are made out of translucent and undulated plastic with natural ventilation integrated on the ceilings. Bathrooms work without water. And the furniture was made by reusing the wood used for the casting of the walls’ frames. The communitarian program incorporated into this particular center consists of a mud and sand stove that promotes low energy consumption in an area known for their local cuisine.