Sailing School in Sotogrande by architects Héctor Fernández Elorza and Carlos García Fernández

*hfe - ARCHITECTURE | Héctor Fernádez Elorza en tant que Architectes.

The sailing school for the Sotogrande´s Royal Maritime Club is located in an ideal position, between the marina and the catamarans´ beach.

The project is linked to the stone jetty spanning longitudinally over the promenade in the north side of the beach. The structure seemingly levitates from the ground, standing gently in the sand, as if it were a catamaran. Due to the limited dimensions of the school and its facilities it is necessary the interposing of a larger element to create more visibility for the building. The pergola, constructed in front of the school, unifies all the project elements while also creating a shaded threshold, covering the exterior from direct sun exposure, stretching towards the southern end of the building. Seen from a distance, the school becomes a landmark near the port entrance.

The building presents different properties in its front and rear sides. At the same time, it encompasses two distinct parts beginning with the built volume that organizes the school´s office, classroom, changing rooms and the sails warehouse in its main interior. Facing south, the pergola extends from the building to create an open-air room allowing for views of the landscape underneath the shade.

The building, in a dominant position towards the beach while gently elevated from the sand, delineates a marked nautical character with its lightness and appearance. The club member´s classroom consists of a double-sided space that links visually the beach and the marina. The ocean breeze enters into the interior providing for a fresh and shaded space that extends to the outside.

The school is accessible from different points. The warehouse, the changing rooms and the offices have independent access from the rear and both flanks of the building, meanwhile the access to the club is located at the front in continuity with the platform and the porch.

The school is constructed with galvanized steel and bolted connections as the primary structure. The organization of the structural elements creates a series of rhythms in the façades strengthening its nautical and weightless character. The member´s room opens to the north and south sides by means of operable glass walls, accessible from the beach, allowing spatial continuity and cross ventilation. All the other enclosure elements in the walls, floors and ceiling are made in wood-cement fiber panels that ensure both structural durability and performance against the harsh climates from the sea and inclement weather. In the same way, the pergola in the south is built with a galvanized steel structure and a tensile system that holds up a willow reed cover that echoes its context.

Under the pergola or from the inside of the classroom, the sea and the Rock of Gibraltar become, framed by the architecture, main characters of the space.

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