Arquitectura Viva
Monday, June 25, 2018

Ramón Fernández-Alonso, Teacher Training School in Granada

The building of La Inmaculada Teacher Training School, which belongs to the Archbishopry of Granada, is located in the residential neighborhood of Almanjáyar, the city’s area of expansion through the north and that is characterized by the predominance of high-rise collective housing. In this place, with no quality urban facilities and in which there was no established public activity, this buildings gives the opportunity of generating city. The project delves into different formulas for its urban insertion, like the permeability of the spaces that complement the teaching program, and which are located at level with the city with apparently no boundary imposed between the urban space around the building and the collective space on ground level. The more public uses of the building program are placed on this level, organized around a central courtyard.

The access lobby establishes a visual relationship with the street through the entrance porch, reflecting the great variety of activities in the building: library, exhibition hall, church, cafeteria, auditorium and sports center. All these spaces, with the exception of the library, have a direct access of their own which can be used independently from the building’s main one. The level with the accesses is a threshold space compressed by the suspended mass of the upper floors, so the ceramic enclosures of the classrooms hover over the city. This arrangement is translated into a structural solution consisting of a lattice beam that contains the two top floors of the classroom and departments, and that rests on two lines of columns spanning a large void. Underneath are the communal areas, in continuity with exterior areas of landscaped terraces protected by a bold cantilever.

The search for the formal unity of the whole goes beyond the modular planning that derives from the structure. The aim was to achieve a close, almost familiar architecture, both in the composition of the spaces and in the treatment of light and of the texture that its ceramic skin confers. In the upper levels, the ceramic shell is rhythmically sectioned by fragmenting the academic area in patterned classrooms whose layout ensures that sunlight will come in through the side via courtyards. These courtyards control light strictly as a sort of diaphragm with asymmetrical cantilevers of the roof and facade that prevent direct sunning in the northwest and southwest facades.
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