CollaboratorsAlejandro Rodríguez Sáenz, Ismael Planelles Naya
StructuralDavid Gallardo Llopis
InstallationIndigo Ingenieria S.L
Quantity SurveyorJuan Antonio Díaz Romero
Text description provided by the architects. The project is an Elementary School with six units of nursery school, twelve primary units, dining room, gymnasium and complementary spaces.
The proposed site is located in an area of urban growth where city of Alicante and San Juan beach converge. This area is characterized by its open construction of coastal type, composed mainly of apartment blocks of a certain age, with open spaces and heights ranging from five to twelve floors with new buildings that adopt similar types but with higher density.
The plot has a rectangular geometry. The longest side has a constant slope that covers a height of eight meters, this point being became one of the main economic and formal requirements of the project.
Then the proposal aligns the building with the western boundary of the plot and places the main entrance there. The classroom areas are solved in two parallel bands to the short side of the plot with north-south orientation, closed with individual pieces perpendicularly at the ends. This strategy forms the cloistered scheme and concentrates the building in the upper platform through where the access occurs. Most of the program is solved on the ground floor, only the primary block is solved with two levels to classrooms without excessive group tours and all identical orientation (south facing).
The plot has a very pronounced slope, and the soil has rocky nature, with a restrictive budget. Accommodating the huge area of sports facilities in continuity with the interior spaces would have required an enormous amount of earthwork, in opposition to economic constraints. So the plot section is worked as a game of platforms; the aim: to move the less of rock volume and meanwhile circulations are fluid and direct.
Children's classrooms are located at the south end of the plot, facing south. The playground is bounded between the building and the edge of the plot. It remains on a lower level, allowing a generous view of the building from the sidewalk.
Children's classrooms have their usual docent outdoor spaces sun-protected with a powerful metal cantilever.
Primary classrooms are solved in two levels and six units facing south. To avoid excessive sun exposure they have a generous cantilever which provides fresh shadow. The other teaching areas (Library, Computing, Music and Workshop) are located on the ground floor facing east and arranged in perpendicular blocks to the corridor which leads to the dining room. This solution is a variant of the typical two-hands corridor: perpendicular blocks create gaps between them which free the facade.
Materiality of the project was adapted to the crisis situation and so we chose brickwork. As far as possible we have avoided inside coatings and plasters.
We only allowed ourselves a technological joy with the very cheap lightweight aluminum sills and exterior venetian blinds.
The choice of sienna brickwork and white venetian blinds allowed us to play with the beach atmosphere of Huertas Cape: almost all of them share a material and chromatic harmony that the project here also tries to integrate.