Architect Office: FLINT, Argola Arquitectos
Location: Madrid, España
Principal Architects: FLINT
Associated Architects: Argola Arquitectos
Architects In Charge: Zora Sander (FLINT) – Francisco Botella Botella (ARGOLA)
Directors: Veronique Tastet, Christophe Gautié (FLINT) – Joaquín Aramburu Maqua (ARGOLA)
Project Team: Marie Josée Matte, Teresa Martínez Fernández (FLINT)
Area: 4135.0 sqm
Photography: Alberto Ruiz López
Technical Studies: Garval Ingenieria, RF Ingenieros, ACYPTE
Technical Architect: ARQUIBOND
Contracting Owner: AEFE Paris
From the architect. The building responds to the expansion needs of the French School Saint Exupéry in Madrid, at present providing room for approximately 750 pupils. The project involves the rehabilitation of the existing building, the construction of a new extension and the remodeling of the exterior spaces. The architectural proposal has three main objectives: integration in the pre-existing urban landscape, functionality and formal and conceptual singularity.
The existing villa, as well as the park next to it, is preserved to blend in the urban landscape of La Moraleja, characterized by single-family houses on tree-clad hills. The new building is positioned in the back of the plot adopting natural topography. It disposes of two superposed volumes: a two-level volume accommodating the classrooms is placed in continuation of the existing building and a single-level volume providing collective facilities is located perpendicularly to it. Architectural integration is achieved through the use of brick facades present both in the existing building and in the common services new construction. Further on the facades of the new classrooms are composed of glass modules that offer mountain views of the Sierra de Guadarrama and, at the same time, reflect the surroundings.
The design of the building is based on a rationally organized functional program. Together with the most appropriate technical solutions it guarantees optimized functionality. The existing building is entirely reconstructed in order to accommodate infant education and teachers rooms. The new construction is organized around four patios that allow natural illumination and ventilation of the classrooms in the South and of all circulation elements, creating a multitude of visual connections. It contains classrooms for primary education as well as collective activities on the ground floor, and classrooms for secondary education on the second floor. Separate accesses lead to the recreation yards formed by the different building corps.
The building is equipped with control systems minimizing energy consumptions. Thus is regulated the supply of clean and filtered air, the collection and treatment of used and rain water or the opening and closing of blinds depending on the external conditions.
Formal and conceptual singularity is created to transmit a new image that contributes positively to increasing social perception of the role of cultural vanguard of the French School. The design is sought to emphasize the contrast between the heaviness of brick and the lightness and transparency of glass. Color and light have been taken as a starting point for the design of the buildings and its interiors.
Inside, the color code has been led to the classrooms and common areas, singling each one of them by a different color combination in floors, walls, doors and furniture. Outwardly, the glass panels of the facades alternate transparent and colored opaque glass. In addition to controlling the amount and color of sunlight inside, it gives the facades formal richness and defines the essential features of its architectural image.