Espai Transformador

Espai Transformador

Architect
Comas Pont Arquitectes
Location
Vic, Barcelona, Spain | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Secondary Schools
Adrià Goula

Transformative Space

Comas Pont Arquitectes as Architects

Pre-existing
Sant Miquel dels Sants High School is located in the historic centre of the city of Vic. The program has been configured around a dark and unoccupied inner courtyard that forces very long routes to move between the different classrooms. At the same time the high school has almost no open spaces and the common spaces are reduced to the corridors between classes.

photo_credit Adrià Goula
Adrià Goula

Proposal     
The project proposes to occupy this unoccupied courtyard for years. The proposal opens up new possibilities, new routes, a new space of centrality, of free appropriation, a space of socialization, a space that transforms the way of using and living the school.

This volume occupies the ground and first floor of the school and its roof is used as an outdoor playground on the second floor. On the ground floor, it connects with the existing assembly room, which becomes a multipurpose study room and expands the functions of the new space.

A prefabricated construction system of CLT cross-laminated wood allows the construction to be carried out during the two months of summer vacation, deconstructing part of the existing façade to integrate the new space of the school, opening perspectives. The two resulting courtyards keep providing  light and ventilation to the classes and are landscaped to naturalize the space and feed the existing groundwater table.

photo_credit Adrià Goula
Adrià Goula

Structurally, the intermediate floor hangs from the roof with straps that allow the entire ground floor to be released and to open a double space for visual connection between floors. The roof becomes a new sunny courtyard and connected to the dining room on the second floor, which can be used as a summer dining room.

To use the roof as a playground was an effort of technical solutions that had to solve the structural load, the acoustic behaviour inside and the good climatic behaviour without increasing the weight of the layers on a light wooden structure. It was solved with a ventilated chamber package with slopes of wooden planks on battens, insulation, waterproof membrane, geotextile and lightweight concrete floating pavement. All of them on blocks and acoustic membranes.

The façade is made with SATE system achieving the continuity of the insulation on the entire façade surface. Large windows allow cross ventilation of the space during the hottest months.

Inside the new volume it is preserved the structural wood exposed. An acoustic false ceiling made in situ based on double fir slat gets a good acoustics of the space. On the first floor is a dry floor with linoleum.

photo_credit Adrià Goula
Adrià Goula

Flexible and versatile use   
Students have appropriated the space freely by increasing the sense of belonging of the school. Improvised meetings and personalized tutorials are held, games are played during recess, some teachers hold small-format classes and many neighbours have requested space for community activities.

Sustainability 
The expansion of these new spaces should respond to a sustainable, rapid and precise construction. The CLT cross-laminated wood construction allows a healthy, sustainable and precise construction. The project was carried out with the BIM system to check the assembly of the mixed structural system wood-steel and coordinate all agents. This system also managed to reduce all the construction waste by coming all the workshop parts to be assembled on site. The structure was assembled in 10 days and avoided the discomfort of noise and dust to neighbours.

photo_credit Adrià Goula
Adrià Goula

Furniture 
It was proposed flexible furniture which also could respond to the different activities proposed in the new space. Round poufs of different sizes were chosen to allow groupings. It is the students who permanently reconfigure the space. Some indoor plants dialogue with the outdoor planting of the courtyards and introduce the green inside getting a more domestic space.

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