Text description provided by the architects. The modernization of the D. Manuel I Secondary School in Beja is part of the first phase of secondary school modernization program promoted by Parque Escolar - EPE, and can be resumed in the following measures:
Renovation of the existing buildings to improve and enhance their spatial and constructive features, assuring up to date comfort, safety and accessibility requirements.Construction of a new laboratory building, inserted in the terrain to connect the main existing building with the old workshops;
Renovation of the student’s old covered recess area. Due to its location it functions as a junction between various existing buildings, creating a covered area with multifunctional characteristics, encouraging social interaction amongst the entire school community. The project incorporates a North-facing irregular saw-tooth roof, providing this space with diffuse and variable natural light originating from the modules’ different slopes, and simultaneously protecting the space from the excessive Southern solar radiation.
New Library / Resource Centre: Situated next to the covered recess area, this zone is understood as one of the most dynamic in the school due to the high flows generated and its connection to the central space,. The library’s situation is another attribute for promoting this interaction, taking advantage of the dynamics and visibility which the place itself provides. The layout reveals the intent of exposing the library entrance to the covered recess area, using the informal reading area and the multimedia room for this effect. The documentation reference area is situated on the opposite side, where a more protected and quiet space is intended.
Construction of a new covered sports field, including athletic and ancillary facilities. It is positioned and designed to offer protection from crosswinds and direct sunlight. The shower and change rooms take advantage of the terrain’s natural slope, easing their integration and thermal comfort.