Fonte de Angeão School

Title: Fonte de Angeão School
Location: Fonte de Angeão, Vagos, Portugal
Author: Miguel Marcelino
Category: Collective Places

The school setting allows a close relationship with nature. Located in the countryside, the new primary school + kindergarten is surrounded by beautiful adult trees.
The proposal explores the relations between inside and outside through two systems that will define the spatial organization of the school: in the classrooms, an atmosphere of concentration is sought, so the large windows open to gaps, like private courtyards, providing controlled natural light and diagonal views to the surroundings. In the common zones the opposite is sought: direct and frontal views, large perspective fields in all directions as well as plenty of natural light in the corridors.
There is no separation between structure, architecture and building services. The structure is at once architecture and its material is the actual finish. Pipes and cable trays are not hidden and most of ventilation and cooling is done through semi-passive systems.

A school, by definition is a collective place, where you start to actively make your first steps in the institutional organization of our society, first in the kindergarten, then in primary school, a child starts there its learning period. Nevertheless, the approach to this building is based on a different idea of collective, in a way that the spaces and materials where thought not as pure untouched surfaces, but as a big home for life to happen there, with its own language. So, this architecture can't be read as a standalone product, but as a structure, a background for collective life. These concrete walls “wants” kids drawings posted, needs the sun to “wash” its surface, needs the the colorful pallet of children, needs the warmth and domesticity of a wooden floor, needs that the green and rural surrounding flows inside. This building wants to be part of its territory, changing in Winter and Summer with it, aging with it.