Architects: Campuzano Arquitectos
Location: Tolima, Colombia
Team: Gabriel Campuzano Otero, Carlos Campuzano Otero, Carlos Campuzano Castelló
Area: 6,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Campuzano Arquitectos
Technical Studies: De Valdenebro Ingenieros, Jorge Ramirez
Collaborators: Angela Hernández Atehortúa, Andrea Ortiz Perea, Oscar Ruiz, Francisco Posada, Juliana Zuluaga, Julio Angulo, Diana Galvis, Andres Martinez
School construction in the suburbs of Colombian cities should be an opportunity to generate social cohesion. These facilities must be able to provide services to the community around them, becoming a reference point for the neighborhood and contributing to its development. Thus, we design a “public” area for the project which we call “civic block”, which involves the services and dependencies that can serve the community (multipurpose room, library, sports courts). The civic block can be controlled so that during the week it is private for the school, and during the weekends and holidays it is open to the public.
We propose a pedestrian extension of 63rd street into the project with the “ladder of knowledge”, for private use and eventual public use, and possible access at both ends, which is in turn a filter from where the academic block is controlled, for exclusive use of the school, consisting of the classrooms. It is in this “ladder of knowledge” where the encounter between “civic” and “academic” occurs, creating public awareness in students from a very young age, and teaching the importance of community.
The ascent is gentle and slow, with permanence platforms under vegetation, from which the city can be viewed. It is the backbone of the school, creating a friendly reception and access from the center of the neighborhoods, ensuring the flow and urban continuity by being opened willingly to better relate to the city. Classrooms oriented north-south, enjoy the distant view of the city due to the slope. They terrace in horizontal bars according to the grade levels, with preschool in a protected area with immediate access to the bottom.
The classrooms are associated with a private courtyard, a space that becomes an extension for learning. The rooms enjoy the possibility of joining in groups of two as suggested by the educational system. The construction system is composed of a structure in concrete walls and cement blocks that span 8 meters for the lower bodies, with light, white aluzinc roofs, covered in PrePex, supported on iron trusses.
The wind in the region permeates the buildings through concrete modular lattices. The floors, walls and planters are a combination of bricks and river stones cut in half, easily and cheaply obtained in the area. Glass and aluminum enclosures allow for versatility in the communication and openness of the spaces. The overall image of the project seeks to value the relationship between a sober architecture with the lush and colorful vegetation of the region. An architecture that is protected from the sun and creates meeting spaces at various scales.