The project Lower Prep Quad generates on the necessity to deliver the adequate background structure to the education plan for students from Prekinder through 2nd basic of The Grange School, located in the borough of La Reina, Santiago.
The task consists of the remaking of an existing building and extension with a new building that triplicates the existing surface, plus the remodeling of the outer spaces and yards.
The idea was to create a “self contained” unit, which means that the “Quad” or “Quadrant” ought to be well equipped, and contain whatever is needed to satisfy the education project and provide the adequate solutions for the development of the program at those levels.
The idea is about two perpendicular volumes that form an “L” that contains the major part of the central courtyard.
The existing wing is modified in its external appearance in order to integrate it to the new design of the enlargement and harmonize as a part of the new complex.
These volumes were worked out with simple lines that outline the horizontality and so they keep the ratio of the place.
In the access, the horizontality is broken with a great arch that enhances the entrance besides the access bridge, and a smaller arch that is the end of the circulation on the second level, which, together with the skylight over the corridor provides with natural light to this level.
An articulated level, around two axis has been organized, with a mínimum circulating surface, which allows flexibility in the layout of the spaces and the configuration of a great variety of programs dwelling in the building.
The distribution of the program is as follows: a fist level for the Prekinder and Kinder, which has a circulating lane on its perimeter in the outside of the building for the access to the classrooms, and in front of each module has a private courtyard for educational activities.
Furthermore, there are the reception, management, nursing, dining room for 300 students, and a cooking workshop/lab with devices of the most updated technology.
In parallel to the building there is an indoor courtyard that is also a gym, and which, together with a volume of bathrooms, warehouses and shading spaces complete the setting of the central courtyard.
On the second level there are located the 1st and 2nd basic, the management and teacher´s room, technical rooms, specially conditioned for their usages, like computers, music, art and the library, which has two areas: formal reading and working area, and a more informal one, more relaxed.
In the subsoil level, there goes the semi olympic swimming pool with dressing rooms, bathrooms, training, dancing and yoga room and cafeteria, which are illuminated and ventilated through skylights.
The ground covering the building is suited for living and has crop tables for education purposes.
Another very important issue that was worked out in the project was the sustainability and energetic efficiency. The new building has been designed under international standards as LEED, with the consultancy of Fundación Chile and the company Pasiva. Concepts of solar energy use were applied with solar panels for the warming of the swimming pool, and also for water saving with sanitary devices of low consumption.
Al the building is covered with an isolating system EIFS, thermopanel windows that consent a saving in air conditioning illuminating hardware of high efficiency and use of natural light through a passive control obtained with lattices in the facades.
The courtyards are designed according with the children´s different ages, as also are the furnitures, with a special care in security and a close vicinity with nature and the environment.
The Lower Prep Quad is an integrated project, that was worked out with interdisciplinary staffs which managed together the education area, architecture, building and energetic efficiency, technology and landscape, everything goal oriented to the user and the sustainability of the architect´s project.
Remodelation area: 1.458,50m2
Extension area: 4.496,16m2
Courtyard area: 3.186,75m2
Date of the project: 2011 - 2012
Materials : Concrete, EIFS coating, thermopanel windows, sunscreen.