A+ Award in “Arquitectura de Edificios para la Educación”, 2010 (first phase) The educational project of the Súnion School is based on three main principles: the sense of respect, the capacity of self-concentration, and the constitution of a community. These three starting points are translated, on one hand into a visual connection between the various built volumes, and on the other hand in a maximal transparency between the various workspaces: classrooms, "seminars" (places for exchange), or offices. An operational principle consisting of a corridor – cupboard organizes the circulation spaces. On every floor, facing the street, wooden boxes have been placed, designed as a place for the informal exchange between students. This driving idea of the project, the active circulations and the areas of exchange, establish the vertebral column of a dynamic proposal, enriching the school and favoring the spaces of contact which are placed around it. At the same time, the will to give every floor a specific point of interrelation and information exchange between the students and the teachers, generates a distribution organized around a central compact core, made up of seminar rooms and offices. The school revolves around the forum, a hybrid and multipurpose space, where we can fit entire courses to give a lecture, group activities (essays, theater, singing, etc) or formalize the relationship between parents, students and teachers. The access to the school was planned as an extension of the public sidewalk space. This space, which works as a private shared space, as an extension of the public space (ps), is developed on a double height stressing the process of accessing the school and providing it with an urban scale.
The main reason we present this project and made a video specifically for this prize is to emphasize Architecture as a place to be lived in. In the piece we show a normal day at Súnion school, the multiple relations between students, teachers and the architectural design. In a quiet and sensible way, Adrià Goula, the well-known architecture photographer, shows what happens in and out of the box, a film that recreates a crowded flux of students using different parts of the building. If there is a special type of projects that need to be thought about and need the introduction of conceptual and pedagogical innovations, these are the educational buildings all around the world. Also, the exchange of knowledge in the age of information has made teaching at schools move at an unprecedented speed, and thanks to the Internet, the new ideas are not coming from the usual centers (New York, Milan, London) but rather from abroad. In this new panorama, architectural education buildings have to move faster, and smarter. It’s not about teaching how to use the latest tools, but rather how to be part of a new world. New spaces, new ways to teach and learn, new strategies between knowledge and the educational community are the central point of the future. Seeds planted in the spirit and the brain of our future.