Architects: stación-ARquitectura Arquitectos
Location: Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
Architects: stación-ARquitectura Arquitectos
Project Team: César Augusto Guerrero Rodríguez, Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal, María Sevilla Gómez, Carlos Raúl Flores Leal
Client: Instituto Docet – EducarUno
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Ana Cecilia Garza Villarreal
From the architect. Background
Initially the project promoters had the idea of rehabilitation of an existing house to install there the institute, put a façade with figures and forms that they felt were related to child age by the people and the public would be the future user building. This is based on the types of existing buildings that offer the service of local pre-school education based on the use of characters from animated movies and cartoons that adorn buildings pretending to transform them into schools for children immediately.
After a series of talks and visits to the house that was intended to rehabilitate, we suggested a new building basing that it was important to launch the educational system of the Institute that its first construction should offer the best in a matter of space and flexibility and really represent a clear change and a new form that wanted to project the Institute in teaching methodology.
The end result was something that perhaps they never had in mind, and they accepted to do a school of 900 square meters, instead of rehabilitating a house of 270 square meters. These processes also advance of initial designs of 300 square meters to realize a broader agenda and a building appropriate to their needs ever larger as the project progressed.
In the same way during the process managed to rescue the trees and ground existing vegetation incorporating a large garden to the project.
The building is located on a main road traffic flow and in a corner with a secondary road. The project was always looking to give space to the city in front of the land, which would create a garden of vehicular access to allow also leaving the children to the door of the building that would function like a platform. Also taking advantage of the corner of the land provided the first impression of the building is generated through the front garden, which hides the built volume that is only seen in parts giving priority and hierarchy to the existing trees.
The building is placed on the remaining land so bound to generate a completely private courtyard garden.
The most important project was that the land on which would be built it had a number of mature trees very ancient and where the land is a part of the city with just a few years of urban development, which was sought by strategically positioning the building seeking not to throw any of these trees, to generate an access to the building with these trees in order to isolate the building access to the street creating a garden access and then generate a block in an “L” form embracing the inner garden and separating and defining vehicular access from the garden and playground for children. The garden is the central part of the project and gives the sensation of being in a small forest, which is filtering through large windows into the building creating a constant relationship between internal activities and nature.
The ideology of the Institute is closely linked with respect for nature and the environment, so the design must comply with these premises. What was sought was then designed according to the existing vegetation in order to harmonize with the context, opening big voids to make contact with trees and green outdoor areas from almost any area of the building.
The building is designed to be future growth and expand its capacity of students, the design of the classrooms have the same dimensions in order to change the use to which they want to give these spaces. There are also two large multi-functional spaces that can be tailored to various activities as they evolve in the Institute curriculum.
The building contains a bay of services both on ground floor and upstairs facilities concentrating and releasing most of the interior space giving the flexibility to be changing activities on the two levels.
There is a double height space which is the multi-purpose hall that is the heart of the building, which has a direct relationship with the garden and this in turn has direct relationship with the two floors, on the second floor you have the control of the whole space is always in order to be able to have direct contact both the director and the parent in order to monitor the activities undertaken by teachers with children.
An important point in the project was to generate the inclusion of users in the space, which in different parts of the building are located windows and transparent surfaces that visually connect the user with various activities. In every classroom there is a floor to ceiling window in order to have a relationship between classroom and classroom and between classroom and outside, promoting safety awareness in children and that there are perhaps other classrooms with children with varying age within the building, which promotes coexistence and respect for other groups, creating a single community. A corridor connects all the classrooms with the common area of the building. As you walk down this hall you can have eye contact with students, this for the benefit of both the school principal and teachers, to parents, as they may see their child performance during their activities. In the multipurpose room, it creates a living space where you can invite parents to participate in various activities with their children to make and hold meetings, meetings and lunches being this space directly related with the kitchen.
As a principle of sustainability is sought to allow all adult trees and they generate great benefits to the building providing shade throughout the day as well as generating a fresh atmosphere and clean air.
The orientation of the building is very important as it is oriented so that the inner garden filters natural light into the spaces.
Due to budget the project theme is built with simple materials, economic and highly industrialized in the town, seeking to promote both the local workforce (blacksmithing, carpentry, and industrial materials) as the production and use of cheap materials. It was decided to make a structure of steel frame, metal deck slabs and collaborating on concrete and concrete block walls stopper.
As the exterior finish was implemented a ventilated façade, using sheets made of corrugated steel and perforated that are placed in the upper part around the building. This façade is separated from the walls with a sub-assembly to generate air movement and ventilation between the coating and the wall and also to provide shade to the wall and protection for the solar incidence. Avoid heating of the exterior walls is important because the extreme climate of the city of Monterrey.
To achieve this coating of the facade was found a small local company that was drilling machinery to produce parts for automotive and metal industries, mechanical, seeing the potential that these processes of productions parts for Architecture we decided to make tests with their equipment for the manufacture of perforated sheets for the coating of the facade. At the start of the project developers had questions about the use of this element, however gradually accepted the proposal, which became a topic of identity in the perception of the building itself.