The school of Sant Gregori was built in 1972 on the hillside of Collserola mountains. The original project was laid on several terrace levels stepping down the site. The integration of its section with the site along with the great fluidity of its interior space although attractive causes great accessibility and evacuation problems. The actual school facilities are inadecuates according to todays standards and also lacks the kindergarden cycle.(3 to 6 years-old)
Therefore the comission focussed on the reform, improvement and extension of the existing facilites and the addition of the kindergarden cycle presently located in a another part of town on Arimon Street. The extention will also include an underground parking, 6 kindergarden classrooms, 6 additional primary level classrooms and a new elementary school of music with its 300 seats auditorium which will also be a gymnasium for the entire school.
The urban parameters were specific to Collserola hillside and were as follow:
-Compulsory setback on Carles Riba Street.
-Single intervention not to be fragmented.
-Minimum footprint on the natural reminder of the plot.
-Upper portion of the hillside protected.
We also added our own parameter that the intervention should be of minimum appearance occupying holes, emptying and filling landfills, sustituing terraced landfills with program creating polivalent spaces and using the resulting rooftops as playgrounds.
The school has a natural outdoor reception space with 3 pine trees that we decided to preserve and enhance. Around this couryard and excaving the first terrace land-fill upon which was built the school, we created a new semi-burried volume for the administration and vestibule that connects through new elevators the existing school with the street level. To the east, the next landfill is replaced with an auditorium/gymnasium with a baskball court on its rooftop. This setting is completed on the western front with a large bleacher-staircase creating an agora space, a public outdoor space covered with the pine trees, connecting with the stage level of the auditorium through an oversize sliding glass door. The spaces are thus linked to one another, and the auditorium can pivot and serve both the interior and the exterior agora space.
The result is a new reception space where parents and children can wait, play and organize plays, shows and other events. This agora space is not enclosed by walls and continues beyond the facade inside the building, gaining more depth especially at nightime when the administration builiding is lit.
The rest of the volumes occupies the western landfill, recreating the original excavated mountain profile. The arrangement of set-backs and stepped terraces ensure the connection and evacuation of the existing building and the creation of generous playground terraces. The kindergarden classrooms are located directly on the ground level with the primary level classroon ontop. The music school is fragmented in 2 dislocated volumes on the 3 and 4the levels and wrapped in an anthracite color zinc cladding. The terraces on the first floor level are treated with a pine-green composport finish that connects accross all the spaces with great fluidity.
The building was rated A-level energywise. All the southern exposure of the classrooms is protected by overhangs and/or a brise-soleil of pine-wood sections. In a similar fashion, the basketball court is wrapped in a galvanized Rivisa steel mesh that will allow vegetation to climb and create an appropriate shadow for the playground.