LocationLa Reina, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Architect in ChargeEtienne Lefranc, Gonzalo de La Parra
Text description provided by the architects. The building was born from an investigation made by the client in Italy, Spain and Denmark, that appears as an opportunity to implement the educational methodology "Reggio Emilia" (Italy 1945) in Chile, which in its proposal contains two detonating concepts that impact the development of early childhood: the child as protagonist, and space as a third teacher. These principles were the key to conceptualize and give shape to the final draft.
The initial reference is the Mapuche device called "Kupulwe".
"(...) The children that haven’t learned to walk yet are called “guaguas”, and like corn, before maturity, they are transported by their mothers in the Kupulwe; always wrapped and standing, having the option to look all around so they can contemplate life. The upright posture keeps them alert and stimulated by the surrounding events (...) "Exhibition Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombino Art, 2012"
Conceptually, the project propose it self as an artifact of Stimulation and Experimentation where the protagonist is the infant. To achieve these goals, spaces were design to make him the main character, where the overhead natural light acts as an advisor in relation to the time and path of the sun. The classrooms are configured according to the scale of the child, the activities and the materials to be used by the teachers in the development of the training process.
The project was carried out on an existing home in the neighborhood La Reina, Santiago, where an enclosure capable of improving the thermal and light behavior of the enclosures is implemented. Some original masonry walls remain as massive traces on a new wooden structure incorporating thermal and lighting requirements needed to create spaces ideal comfort for developing educational institutions lands.
From native constructive references the project is proposing, for example, aesthetic references of dress of "machi" Mapuches: the use of large black robes as a backdrop for colorful ribbons which are determined by time or event to celebrate.
The wave shaped zinc works as a cloak that covers much of the project with colorful interventions. The interior content takes referrals from the Mapuches building systems “rucas” as warm and consists of materials such as in the case of timber spaces.