SOMOS.arquitectos proposal for the new kindergarten school in Llubí.
The current topography is the starting point of the project. The plot is one meter below the official alignment. This height will be the germ of an idea: the future kindergarten will be placed ONE METER BELOW the street level (-1). The playground is situated to the south looking for an appropriate sun exposure, the classrooms being connected directly to this outdoors space. A large central lobby articulates the last strip, the closest one to the street, where the non-educative program is found (administrative, services, etc.).
Everything that happens below ground will belong to THE CHILD'S SCALE (-1). This simple operation serves to accommodate a whole arrangement of children's activities within this limit. It ceases to be a simple difference of one meter height to become a programmatic band that articulates the courtyard in continuity with the classrooms (sand circuit, rubber mountain, climbing wall, tunnels, etc.). This strategy is now extended inside the building. There, this one meter height becomes a programmatic ribbon that allows us to distinguish two worlds: a first one within child’s reach, one meter underground (-1), a second one above, coincident with the adult scale (+1).
(+1) ADULT SCALE: the excavated house
The external volume will be a house that shelters the adult (+1). It is an envelope placed above ground which is then manipulated through excavation in two steps. First one, two patios are removed from the prismatic solid, thus defining the entrances: the main access and the exit to the playground. Afterwards, two extractions form two internal courtyards that serve to illuminate the interior and act as a vanishing point.
MATERIALS: sandstone (-1), exposed concrete (+1) and wood
Following the same argument, everything on the scale of the child, a meter below ground (-1), is solved by typical sandstone extensively used in the area. Above ground, the scale of the adult (+1), it is solved in exposed concrete tinted in terracotta, a chromatic range dominant in the context, so that the new building integrates perfectly in the urban tissue. The rest (interior and exterior carpentries, interior furniture, etc.) is finished in wood.
(-1) CHILD SCALE: the wooden house
The metaphor of the house is replicated inside: every classroom hosts a wooden house. It gives shelter to child’s functions regarding learning and autonomy (rest, body hygiene, food, etc.). It has a double access: at the scale of the child (-1) and at the scale of the teacher (+1). It acts as a backdrop for classroom activities, where this difference in height structures once again a whole series of pedagogical corners..