Status: Competition (2016)
Location: Madrid, Spain
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Materials: Metal, Vegetal, Plaster
Types: Education, Refurbishment, School
The client has acquired the neighbouring plot and decided to organise a restricted competition to show visions for the future of their institution.
By studying the different top schools around Madrid, we find it evident that the College has a huge lack of public space, which does not reflect the level of its academical excellence. Our strategy to improve the public space focuses on compacting the program that allows us to liberate common space and solve the complicated topography of the complex. This new public area is characterised in four different ways: the lawn, the square, the sports fields and the foundation stage. All the elements, both remaining structures and new volumes, are organised around the new square which unifies the two plots. The square will naturally become an open forum for the exchange of knowledge and leisure, creating a mini-campus deeply inspired by the traditional British and American institutions.
The different programmes are reorganised by functional needs, complex urban regulations and the required phasing strategy which will allow the school to perform during all construction period. The new constructions are reduced to the minimum, trying to reutilise all the existing premises and adapting them to the current needs of the client. The new elements emerge from its internal organisation formalising them through very clear sections. The new classrooms appear as single story buildings on top of the existing structures of both plots. Besides the traditional educational spaces, we offer new intermediate areas, semi-outdoor spaces that respond to the pedagogical methods of the school; they are contemporary places which go beyond its educational purpose where students and academics will meet and gather. The sports area takes advantage of the topography creating a covered half-sunken sports center with a football pitch on top with its stand looking at the square. A similar strategy is followed in the parking creating a more informal sports area on the top.
The materiality of the project has been carefully considered in order to provide a unified vision of the school. The complex will be characterised by its green envelope composed by a metal mesh and different local species such as Hedera Helix or Trachelospermum jasminoides, which will optimise the thermal and environmental behaviour. The proposed light constructive systems will allow us to build the modules offsite and following the required schedules. Interior finishes will be distinguished by exposed steel complemented with wood providing the quality and durability that the proposal requires. Diverse paving materials will reflect the character of the different areas varying from ecological terrazzos to coloured technical pavements, grass…