Infant Educational Centre Cullar Vega by Solinas + Verd Arquitectos

Photographer Roland Halbe has sent us these photos of a kindergarten in Granada, Spain, designed by Solinas + Verd Arquitectos of Seville.

Top and above images copyright Roland Halbe

Called Infant Educational Certre Cullar Vega, the concrete building was conceived as a permeable wall enclosing a garden.

Above image copyright Roland Halbe

Classrooms are positioned to receive the morning and evening sun.

Above image copyright Roland Halbe

Here's some more information from Solinas + Verd Arquitectos:




Placed in the northern part of Cullar Vega’s city centre, the project articulates itself around the idea of creating a permeable building, in which the relationship between exterior and interior spaces is always protagonist. The general disposition is based on two differentiated and complementary axes. The transversal axis concentrates most of the public services and administrative areas. The longitudinal axis corresponds to the teaching activity, where classrooms are located.

Access to the building is totally differentiated for persons and vehicles. The school looks in its perimeter for an alignment with the existing urban structure, through a wall dense enough to fulfil this task, but at the same time permeable to allow a view of the interior of the enclosure, thus we come to such a usual image in the popular architecture of wall that conceals a garden. The rows of poplars also help to qualify this picture of the interior and integrate with the surroundings.

The main entrance to the building is through a gardened atrium that groups around it the way of access, the administrative area and the dining room of the centre. The way of entry is covered by a projection of concrete that marks us the way and gives the scale of singularity that the building claims. The architectural solution of this centre avoids being pretentious and complicated, but it tries to give an individualized picture of architecture, reflecting its institutional character. It provides a comfortable, cheerful and clean setting, which contributes not only to facilitate the teaching, but also to develop in students habits of conviviality and good relationship with the school environment.

Immediately at the entrance, the reception and the secretary are placed together with the administrative zone and area reserved for teachers. From this point we can also directly and clearly access to the dining room of the centre. The entrance atrium is projected as leisure after lunch.

The multipurpose room has a central role in the configuration of the building being on both public and teaching space. Its position in the middle of the building is very appropriate to access from any classroom in a comfortable and efficient way. Next to the multipurpose room is linked the covered porch necessary for the children’s recreation when the climatic conditions are adverse. This space placed in the middle of the common play area carries out its function protecting by the rains during the winter days and providing shadows in the hot spring days. It has been orientated towards the south to give to this area the best comfort possible.

In fact the principal play-court has been placed in the south side of the plot to guarantee the maximum sunlight for this space during the winter. The shade of the black poplars will conditionate the court from spring times.

The exterior spaces treat each other in its entirety with materials adapted according to the uses, offering a special attention to the representative zone. The exterior areas of games and outdoors classrooms are placed next to the classrooms and incorporate sand’s pits, paved areas, etc. These outdoors classrooms have been projected, as complementary spaces, spaces tied to the classroom, where it is possible to realize the school activity outside.

They all have direct connection with the classroom. It’s paved and enclosed by dividing-walls of low height that individualize the enclosure. The ones located close to the exterior limit of the plot, have a sure closing. The good orientation has been kept in mind to obtain a suitable sunlight avoiding at all time the north exhibition.

We seek a simple plant articulated around axes of minimal surface movement and allowing flexibility in the arrangement of spaces. Rectangular shapes were used. Likewise we considered the possible expansion of the centre with minimal difficulty and constructive distribution to the southern end of the plot. In the same way the concentration of the building promotes security, cleaning and maintenance of the building and at the same time reduces the cost of maintenance. The teaching activity is focused on the transversal axis, and distributes the students according to the cycles, grouping the three and four years-old ones in the northern zone and those of five years in the south of the building closed to the principal court.

Due to the constraints of the plot (narrow and long north-south axis) we distributed the classrooms in order to let them receive the morning and the evening light. We fled from the north orientation don’t considering it adapt to the climate of the area. With the intention to carry out a quality project, proper to the needs of an educational program, we intended to realize a building both valuable and simple and also austere, with resistant constructive solutions proof against a hard use and a marked debilitation, able to withstand a long life in perfect condition and with low maintenance to an absolute minimum.

The configuration of the present proposal allows the extension of the building towards the south. Having been located on the lot together with the whole educational equipment of the population (school Group Francisco Ayala) we thought to raise the possibility of connection of this Center with the already existing ones and with the sports zone foreseen in the urban development in the northern boundary.

In the project the good integration has been kept in mind in its urban environment and its fitness to the bioclimatic conditions of the site taking the maximum advantage by the available orientations, the materials of the region, the aesthetic composition of the architecture, as well as the in force regulation for building and installations.

The choice of the sloping roof for classrooms’ zone is connected with the dominant typology of the zone. The chapter of gardening has been kept in mind very much as integration element between the built space and the free space. We have chosen as the main tree the Poplar (Populus Nigra) as being a native of the region and having an easy maintenance and a rapid growth.

All the classrooms have direct natural light and ventilation. All the spaces are related between them avoiding long walks and getting the whole view of all the interior spaces of the building. Thus has been realized on the basis of the school functionality and the disposition by cycles of age. The pupils of the first and second course are protected from the general play-court, and near the dependences of the professors and the classrooms of the last course with more independence and with an access more direct than the first ones.

The administrative and the services areas have been grouped in specific and different zones, in order not to interfere with the educational activities of the centre. Areas destined to machineries have been centred in areas that do not require a high level of acoustic demand. For example, the boiler is not located near classrooms, but close to a separating wall and vented directly outside. The secretary is placed immediately in the lobby and has a documentation archive. The reception has been located in a central point, from where the total control of the interior spaces of the centre is possible.

The circulation spaces turning into long and dark corridors have been skipped out illuminating them by high windows placed in the zone of access to the classrooms, positioning them with the lighting inside the corridor. The interior divisions of the circulation spaces are protected up to a height of 1.65 m by resistant materials against frets, blows, scratches, etc., and at the same time of easy cleaning and maintenance.

PROJECT Infant Educational Centre, Kindergarten
LOCATION Paseo Quijote de la Mancha, Cúllar Vega, Granada, Spain.
RECEIVED AWARDS AND APPRECIATIONS 2007 Restricted competition. First Prize.
PROJECT AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT Arquitectos: solinas + verd arquitectos (Mr. Simone Solinas, Mr. Gabriel Verd Gallego)
CHRONOLOGY 2007 January: competition 2008 June: start of works 2009 June: end of works
COLLABORATORS Structures : Edartec Consultores
Installations: Idea & Dimensiona Technical advisers (ISE Andalucía): José Liñan, Jorge Acero Technical architect: Eduardo Vázquez Model and drafts: solinas + verd arquitectos Federico Farina, Mario Gaudio Mural, external decoration: Raúl “el niño de las pinturas” Ruiz
CLIENT ISE Andalucía, Infraestructuras y Servicios Educativos
(Infrastructures and Educational Services) Regional Ministry for Education, Region Andalucía