LocationZaragoza 61, Colonia la Capilla, 76176 Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico
Structural DesignJuan José Larios
LandscapeHugo Sánchez y Tonatiuh Martínez
Text description provided by the architects. As a follow-up for the master plan in the school consolidation for The Nuevo Continente School Querétaro Campus, this building is the most extensive and complex to perform within the facility, both because of its location as well as because it is on the level that has the largest number of students; therefore, the most complex task was to build it in two stages, relocating only half of the students, while the other half continued working in their current classrooms. This is because the school did not stop operation for a single day.
This largely determined the morphology of the architectural scheme, a sequence of modules determined by the use of classrooms which are separated from each other by terraces on different levels that achieve to providing tours and pauses between classrooms, almost like small patios on the different levels. This idea would end up being the focus of design of this piece; no classroom would be wall to wall with another one, there would be always a garden, terrace or patio between them, allowing the landscape to be of great importance in the experience of each space, making the void prevail over the solid and taking the crossed air circulation as one of the main points, since the weather in Queretaro is very warm most of the year and it is necessary to lower the temperature and create a microclimate in the spaces that compose the building.
A large pedestrian ramp located at the heart of the building, manages to give dynamism and full access to all three levels in which the program is distributed, working once again on this concept that is vital for the school: free access and circulation for all the buildings in the complex through pedestrian ramps.
The materiality of the building is blunt: a structural and strict language with a completely symmetrical approach makes clear a strong order in the spatial conception, taking this as a clear design stance for educational spaces. The apparent concrete structure itself is the final image of the building that, along with the prefabricated facades in a beige color, in dialogue with the floors and railings with a red rusty color, symbol of the elementary school grade, determine the building tectonics.
Within this architectural scheme, the landscaping project would become a fundamental part of the consolidation of both space and experience as well as for the climate of the campus, achieving through borders and vegetated terraces, experiences that at all times let the user have contact with the vegetation, a vital part within the project.
Once again, the issue of execution time, proved to be a vital premise within the design of the building. For this reason the structure was designed to be prefabricated in a high percentage, achieving more efficient work processes and shortening execution times. Also, the modulation of the classrooms and the design of each space with the minimum of finishes, would make the assembly of the building possible in only six short work months, thereby achieving the final image of the building.