Structural Design: Ingemac
Electric Design: Coselecsa
Hydraulic Engineering: Heco Ingeniería
Ecological Design: Verónica Henríquez
Acustic Design: Eduardo Maya
Landscaping: Gloria Aponte
Consults: Consorcio BCL
Clients: Secretaria Distrital de Educación de Bogotá
Text description provided by the architects. Advocated by the District Department of Education and summoned by the Colombian Society of Architects in Bogotá D.C and Cundinamarca, in 2013 a public contest was realized in order to select the best proposal of design for a school in the location of Fontibón. The architecture firm FP Arquitectura won the first place in the contest with a proposal titled: A classroom a Courtyard, a School a Grand Courtyard. Finally, the school was built and inaugurated at the end of 2017, and selected by Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo- BID, as one of the most innovative schools in Latin America, due to its integration with the community and the creative design applied to a contemporary educational model.
In contraposition to the traditional schemes of the organisation of educational spaces, of wards of corridors with classrooms on the sides, the school La Felicidad is conceived under an ordering principle that consists of a series of courtyards which each one articulates the components of the educational spaces. This allows bringing activities outside of the classroom and permits integration with nature.
The Organisation of the School
The school is organised in four large zones that are located around a big central courtyard. On the southern side, the classrooms of primary school are organised on the first level and the ones of secondary school on the second level. On the northern side, with separate access, the preschool classrooms are located in one single level. The school canteen and auditorium are located on the western side. The eastern side, as a representative volume of the whole, hosts the centre of integrated resources, the library and the administrative spaces. Part of this block is elevated from the ground permitting transparency and accessibility to the main courtyard and generating a possibility of integration with the neighbourhood.
Input on the Pedagogical Processes
Giving access to courtyards and terraces of different scales as an extension of the educational spaces permits the students to have greater contact with natural light, the vegetation and open spaces. In addition, it gives the teachers the possibility to realize other non-typical pedagogical activities, as the cultivation of a garden or group works in the open air. The courtyards of various scales (courtyard-classrooms, recess courtyards and the big main courtyard) are conceived as spaces for democratic life, permitting the encounter and recognition of the students and the teachers as a part of an academic community, and in a wider sense, as citizens.
Technical and Economic Viability
A structure of gateways of concrete in two levels and a reduced palette of materials was proposed: exposed brick walls, stoneware and cobble floors, windows of clear tempered glass, anodized grey aluminium, steel tubing for handrails and fences. All resistant materials of low maintenance and low costs that do not require specialized workforce.