Concept Design: Nestor Gualteros, Rocio Lamprea
Project Development: Fredy Fortich, Rocio Lamprea, Liv Johana Zea, Diego Castro, Maria Sol Echeverri
Interns: Stephany Zapata, Juliana Alzate, Andres Correa, Jessica Jaramillo, Samir Abu-Shibab, Santiago Rincon, Fabvio Caicedo, Alejandra Loreto, Christelle Tsikras, Manuel Gutierrez
Project Manager: Juan Andrés Lemus
Soil And Geotechnical Studies: AICO
Topography: Topógrafos Contratistas P y P
Structures: CNI Ingeniería
Plumbing: MU y Asociados
Electrical: ICS y Cia.
Contractor: Metropoli S.A.
Text description provided by the architects. The mega-school designed for the Pies Descalzos Foundation in Peye mount in the city of Cartagena - Colombia, seeks to be an architectural and urban project with great social impact, consolidated as the engine of change for the inhabitants of the area and city. This project must improve the lives of people, generating alternatives for personal and community development, and should start the transformation of its environment and also become a city landmark, a symbol of the city that generates ownership and pride in its inhabitants. The design of this school is founded on using most concepts of sustainability, ensuring the comfort of users, and using the minimum amount of resources. The key concepts of the project are:
Creation of a strong urban image
Implementation of a bioclimatic and environmentally sustainable architecture.
The architectural design of the project is proposed as the sequence and interrelation of five hexagons, each one is defined by a two-level perimeter and a central activities courtyard. In them, the built perimeter is as important as the interior void and the relationship with the other rings. While the hexagonal contours build a perimeter circulation and accommodate the specific program of school classrooms, the courtyards covered by a pergola are planted with various species of trees and tropical and native shrubs, forming a microclimate that characterizes or suggests the activities that are carried out; their vertical vegetal configuration will attract native wildlife and concretely open the possibility of ecological education. The projected image is that of an architecture of appropriation, light and quiet.
The project is implanted at two different topographic levels to best adapt to the sloping topography of the Loma del Peye. At each level the hexagons with two levels are grouped so as to achieve both horizontal interrelationship (forming an intermediate level), or vertical. The program takes advantage of this method of parts in sequence to allow a flexibility of interrelationships and possible separations, and then defines the various program areas of the project:
The preschool area is located independently on a single level with a separate courtyard within a smaller hexagon. Also, the library must have a necessary autonomy to cater to the community outside school hours, therefore we use the advantage of the isolated hexagon on the second level with direct access outside the school.
In a larger hexagon is the elementary school. On the lower topographic level are other larger and smaller hexagons containing the secondary school. Both levels are vertically connected by a central ramp and stairs at key points of some vertices of the hexagons.
The specialized classrooms of the project are distinctive features extruded in cantilever; the arise from pure hexagonal shapes and create large windows that reaffirm a visual connection to the distant city.
The set of hexagons is complemented by an area of multiple classrooms and sports facilities that form on their roof a wide access square related to the three levels of the project.
Relationship with the city
From an urban point of view, the project will have a controlled access in two areas, the first will be an access for citizens and students, the second will be only for students. The project leaves open, public strategic areas in areas of connection with the surrounding neighborhood.
Rather than an isolated school, we aim to develop an urban project that promotes new sector centralities withfacilities in the school, using the library, sports fields and multipurpose room as supports for neighborhood activities.
The building is conceived as a flagship building for the neighborhood. Its geometry and position set it apart from the surrounding context, and place it as a building that is easy to recognize and can bring together the community.