Structure Engineering: Carpeggiani Engenharia
Construction: Empreiteira do Vale
Drywall System: Imejace
Text description provided by the architects. The project comes from the need for a bigger space for Fênix, a preparatory course for college in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The existing building had some defining characteristics for the design strategies: three floors without compartments, private yard and visuals for the trees’ level. The architecture project seeks maximum integration among students through large seating areas and bleachers. On the ground floor there are the reception, study room, administration and living areas. Private spaces with the shape of small houses serve both for small group study and parent’s assistance. Its casual format and scale provide an immersion and warmth experience in an attempt to disconnect the students from the competitive universe from college preparation. On the back, an extensive bleacher unfolds from the interior of the building to the backyard, supporting studies, students meeting and informal classes. In front of the bleacher, the floor differences marks the space of the stage for small lectures and events.
Two containers were attached to the building bringing two new uses to the external area: the blue container has a long table for study and reading and the black container receives the cafeteria. The loose concrete steps transform the bleachers into stairs, allowing access to the suspended container outside and to the administration inside.
Each of the upper floors has three classrooms and on the second floor two of them can be combined to form an auditorium for 120 people. The leveled chairs and the large whiteboards planes create a horizontal relationship between teacher and students. The use of the OSB panels in the ceiling not only ensures acoustic comfort but also finishes the lightning solution of tubular lamps, creating parallel light lines.
In contrast to the original building’s amplitude, the use of wood brings comfort and informality to the space, presenting a more human scale. The plywood’s light tone matches the blue of the brand from furniture’s details to the container suspended in the back. The Nordic character conferred by the main palette receives a Brazilian touch through the tropical vegetation and compounds with the industrial aspect of the expanded mesh, concrete and containers. The use of angles in the project details brings dynamism and movement to the living spaces.
Lighting has a fundamental role in the character of the project. The use of LED tubes in different dispositions creates spaces and guides flows. The lightning arrows, aligned with the circulation axis, highlight the bleachers’ fluidity and direct the main flow to the living area which is the heart of the project. In the upper floors’ corridors the pagination of the lamps brings dynamicity to the path while in the bathrooms and in the administration they configure the spaces’ limits.