The current educational center and its most recent expansion seem to announce a first solution for a new expansion. A U-shaped volume – a scheme justified in finding the best light for teaching – attached symmetrically to the last building, could solve the need for a playground that the program also required. This accepted U-shaped piece opts, however, for going against such an announcement, turning to stand facing El Salvador Church, one of the most urban buildings of the place. This makes one of the wings of the U-shape behave as a connective element, allowing these units to be used by both buildings. In this shift, the new extension of the Public School for Primary Education Ave Maria-Patxi Larrainzar shows its smoother skin where the new courtyard opens up and creates a place to play, encouraging the sensitive development of the child, communication with peers and the relationship with the city itself. Its most urban facet chooses to fold, as a screen, transforming its entire intimacy into an origami game that helps develop a new public space.
Description of the proposed urban integration The plot had an irregular shape and a height difference of 180 cm between its farthest points. The urban and topographic premises determine a U-shaped building that generates a playground in its interior. This space is open to the existing square that El Salvador Church now shares with the new school.
There are two distinct entrances, access for parents and teachers is from the pedestrian street, and the main access for children is through the square shared with El Salvador Church, from where a ramp leads to the school playground. The most urban facade reconstructs the street, it tries to become more friendly through a play of folds in its great length, and it fills the public space with light.
Program and constraints The program for Ave Maria School comprises six kindergarten classrooms, fourteen primary school classrooms, computer room, psychomotor room, multipurpose room, music room, staff room, administration area, secretary and management, gym, locker rooms, storage rooms, concierge, facilities, first aid, and library.
General construction characteristics The structure consists of concrete planar frames, except at the roof level, where the structure is metallic. The facades are made of a white silicon monolayer on double hollow brick, an air chamber partly occupied by thermal insulation, clad with a tiled plinth up to the height of the doors. The roof of the building is designed with a sandwich panel. The woodwork on the openings of the facades are resolved mostly with casement windows with anodized aluminum, the blinds are also aluminum painted white. The interior woodwork is composed mostly of medium density fiberboard with white formica finish.
The roofs, continuous and suspended, are plasterboard with a hidden substructure. The floors are resolved through white micrograin terrazzo tiles.