Public nursery school

Benicassim, Castellón. 2006

We wanted the children to be the main inspiration of the project. Architecture will be children’s background during their first years of their lives easing up the discovery of the surroundings at the same time that contributes to their personal growth thinking at a children’s scale. Architecture, in our opinion, has to be strongly rooted on the concept of Place which helps to create a long lasting feeling of belonging, especially on the small ones. Nevertheless the building has to be functional, energetically sustainable, technologically advanced, well detailed and with a rigorous cost control in a way that the community may feel bound to a project which is contributing to its future well-being.

The nursery school accommodates four pairs of interconnected classrooms around a central court like a cloister, playing the concept of transparency and openness towards the patio and closeness towards the street to guarantee children’s privacy. Set in a quiet residential area, the school is a low rise building closed to the North by a taller volume housing the administration and the common areas. To the opposite side the building is closed by an organic shaped blue volume as a sculpture facing the existing park. Color and materiality have an important role on the design. Red terracotta panels of different sizes prefabricated with a smooth finished form the rear-ventilated façade cladding in clear contrast with the exposed on-site poured concrete walls and the rough stucco of the clay blocks round wall.