Educational Building: Architectural Review

885 words - 4 pages

Establishing itself as a mediator between the public condition of its location and the intrinsic private aspect of its program becomes essential for the educational building proposed for the town of Smallville. The building offers a public space that serves as the main plaza of the town. The plaza directly engages the school and the town by the use of blade like walls that dissect the overall public space generating a multi layered condition that provides several levels of publicity, spanning from a collective and communal space to a more personal public space. These areas have a gradient-like characteristic that becomes increasingly private as the plaza merges itself with the school space. The school utilizes the atrium-like plaza as an extension of itself, converting it into an impromptu alternative performance space, cafeteria, and gymnasium, meeting place or alternative instructional space. Similarly, this space also serves as the main venue for the town’s events, such as fairs and dances.

The building is conceived as a series of folding blades that are inserted into the overall volume and start organizing and shaping the section and plan of the building. These blades become the veil that conceals at moments the interior of the school, and provide a sense of privacy while keeping approachable appearance of the school to the rest of the town. Such characteristic enables for two different conditions to happen within the building. The first one, when the circulation of the building has an outward focus, revealed to the public as a narrative of the buildings function, and consequently the actual program is veiled. The second condition creates the opposite, where the circulation takes place in a cavernous space with very limited access to the exterior and the program has an outward focus, with a visual or even physical correlation to the exterior. The first condition is better suited for the instructional spaces of the school because it separates the focus of the student from the exterior and emphasizes the importance of the activities taking place in the programmed interior space. In contrast, , the second condition fits with the leisure oriented spaces, where the communication with the exterior, physically or visually enhances the experience of the space. The floor plan of the school is uncomplicated and straightforward. Administrative and more public programmatic elements of the school stay in the ground level, then, the more privately focused operations such as classrooms and library are elevated to the second floor.

The first level is driven by the singularity of the space and its opportunity for multiuse. The space is turned inside out and is not...

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