Architects: al bordE arquitectos – David Barragán & Pascual Gangotena
Location: El Cabuyal, Manabí, Ecuador
Collaborators: Xavier Mera, José Antonio Vivanco y Estefanía Jácome
Client: Felipe Gangotena, The Teacher
Contractor: al bordE arquitectos, Pascual Gangotena, volunteers and the community of El Cabuyal
Design Year: 2009
Construction Year: 2009
Project Area: 36 sqm
Photographs: Esteban Cadena, Francisco Suarez y Pascual Gangotena
“For all of we, who belong to the Puerto Cabuyal Community, it´s been a cause of pride to have our new school. Our community is located on the beach, on the field, in a far away site, been fishing and agriculture the basis of our daily meals. Until 4 years ago there was no school in the community and because of that, most of its inhabitants were illiterate. We began with our school in a small cottage, but as the time passed, the space was got smaller because of the number of children, that’s why we undertook the construction of a new place”.
Most of the schools near the area are made of concrete, with a rectangular shape, with window bars that make it look more like a jail than a school, and the level of defection is very high. That is the reason why the project is looking for solving not only immediate problems but generate long-term solutions.
It was extremely necessary to design the space according to the principles of an active school. The project must be intimately closed with the natural environment nearby. A space were kids can wake up their imagination, their creativity, their desire of learning new things, and not an space were kids feel repressed.
The project uses the same materials and building patterns the community has been using for building for years. A timber basis above the foundation piles, bamboo walls, wood structure and a roof made of knitted straw scarf or “cade”. The difference lies in the conception and conceptualization of the space. A place for education that encourages learning through action.
“A huge change in the children´s learning process has been made since the very beginnings of the school. The action of opening the entrance door is a physics lesson. The space is generous in every way, which is why the kids feel freer finding each one their own place in which they are going to develop their activities. The model and the structure transmit a freshness and imaginative environment that has favored the development of artistic and academic activities through the lessons that gives the best teacher ever, nature”
Now, the children and their parents are proud of their school. Proud of the change that this school has made, been a motif of union and self-esteem for the whole community. When people from outside admire it, when they see it and know it.
“In our Fisher community, It´s the prettiest thing, having a school with a boat shape in where every day, kinds jump into it and get ready to sail and discover new worlds from their very own intern world full of abilities and potentialities. In where children learn science and technology, valuing the life of the field as an starting point, through the lessons given by the best teacher of all, the nature”