Benagalbon Tower Education Center / Republica DM

  • 15 Apr 2013
  • Educational Selected Works
Courtesy of

Architects: Republica DM
Location: Málaga,
Architect In Charge: Republica DM
Area: 331,694 sqm
Year: 2009
Photography: Courtesy of Republica DM

The project arises from an open competition (in the form of restricted competition of ideas), to which the office republica_dm is invited by the organizing entity, the “Public Office of Educational Services and Infrastructure” of the Ministry of Education of the Government of Andalucia. 

The building responds to the required program, “child center and primary school_c2”, adapted both to the geomorphological conditions of the site (with significant slopes), as well as to its urban conditions.

Courtesy of Republica DM

We respond to the program by proposing three “basic volumes” that adjust to a phased construction.

The implantation of the buildings is intended to set free the central spaces, destined for the students’ play area, so that the teaching, administration, and complementary spaces are located at the limit allowed by the urban conditions (distance from facades). The administration and complementary spaces make up the north facade, laid out parallel to the secondary street (with south facing sea views), whereas the child center is parallel to one of the back facades (the northern boundary).

Courtesy of Republica DM

The buildings are located in the lower area of the lot, seeking regularity on the south, west, and north boundaries.

The first phase is designed in an L-shape at the back of the lot, displaying the administration and complementary spaces towards the front, and leaving the child center inside the lot. These volumes are placed on the same platform, thus simplifying the construction process and, therefore, saving and accelerating the use of the facilities. The primary school is separated as much as possible from the child center, so that construction can be undertaken with minimal impact to the operational facilities.

Courtesy of Republica DM

A central courtyard, or atrium, is created, which will relate each and every one of the volumes that make up the program.

The administrative space articulates the two educational areas. This volume houses the library and the dining area, and is directly connected to the street (with a facade setback to allow passage of supply and maintenance vehicles).

Courtesy of Republica DM

The spaces reserved for the building services are located at the intersection of the two phases, with the intention of minimizing the area for building services once both phases are completed.

Finally, the sports courts, gym and parking are located on the highest platform.

Courtesy of Republica DM

We propose three entrances to the center, one which will serve phase 1 (which we understand to be the main entrance to the building, as it is directly related to the library, secretary, etc…), the second in the primary school (secondary access), and a third and final, which serves the parking area.

Implicit in what has been said, it follows that the general design criteria are based, as it cannot be otherwise, in the use of light, natural ventilation and other conditions of the place, in order to produce an environmentally efficient architecture, or simply, logical in its conception of the place it occupies, spatially and temporally. If, moreover, we succeed in producing an energetically passive “artifact” with low energy costs in its “life span”… the better.

Courtesy of Republica DM

Volumetric description: three volumes that relate to each other with a central courtyard, which is conceived as the space that articulates all the circulation paths through the different areas of the center. Geometrically, it can be defined as a triangle that adapts to the alignments of the lot.

The uses with no volumetric impact, the sports tracks and the parking, are located at the top of the lot.

Courtesy of Republica DM

The overall shape of the buildings is designed as parallelepipeds with heights previously described (ground floor and ground floor+2).

First Floor Plan

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Benagalbon Tower Education Center / Republica DM" 15 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=358781>