Children's School and Playroom. Tafalla. Navarra

Children's School and Playroom. Tafalla. Navarra

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Juan M. Otxotorena
Location: Tafalla, Navarra
Date: 2002-2003
Photography: David Muñoz, José Manuel Cutillas

Format    Pdf
Pages 16
Language       Spanish
The project combines two uses, Kindergarten and Child Care, a great deal less related than one would think; it depends on the size and orientation determinations of the plot. The plot in the intermediate area and until now, empty, separating the built area of the urban nucleus and the natural barrier of the river which limits the extensive development of the town towards the East. It is therefore inserted in one of those fast-growing areas of the outskirts that have been built over the past few years in the free areas that were still existing and surrounding the urban area. It is limited by the river, which goes from North to South, with a curve whose size is delimited by the gentle soft meander of its flow.

There is a basic difference of the uses of the building by storey. The ground floor has the general access to the building and the functional programme corresponding to the Kindergarten (or Infants Education Centre, for 0 to 3 year old children); the top floor is designed for use by the area corresponding to Child Care. The project is characterized, therefore, by the integration of these two quite different uses. And the need for a clear differentiation between these two areas has always been clear, as they do not coincide from the point of view of the characteristics of the areas and the ages of its users or their timetables. The Kindergarten areas, in short, are organized in accordance with a sequence associating three essential elements: a big access and common services block and two lineal units of classrooms, which communicate with the former and can be alternatively closed depending on requirements.

The shape of the building is related with the search for the orientation at midday for the classrooms. They look towards the South, with a transparent facade open to the corresponding inside patios and playground that, at the same time is protected by means of a great lengthy overhang allowing being under cover. The most compact part of the building, that corresponding to the common areas and services of the Infants Education Centre and Child Care which is located above the same on the top floor, is concentrated on the west facade of the plot, of a more urban nature. The design decisions completing the configuration of the building fully develop these premises. We could perhaps highlight the appearance of a series of zenith skylights in the classrooms, in order to improve their natural lighting, previously shaded by the presence of overhangs that facilitate playing under cover.

Evident economy reasons lead to select a range of material and quality and construction solutions of an eminently restrictive nature, paying attention to the minimization of costs, being able to highlight the predominance, in the facades, the white single layer mortar combined with facing concrete elements and stone cladding and of industrial sheet metal
paneling in some specific points, on small area surfaces.

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