The project – a building for the preschool-section of the Nuevo Continente college – is part of the current renovation and extension of the institution’s Querétaro campus.
The building is a key element for the image of the college because it not only houses the spaces used by the preschool groups but also serves as access into the compound and defines the very face of the school towards the surrounding city.
Three basic limitations underlay the project: working with a very reduced budget, finishing construction in only five months and maximum reuse of the existing structures. These strict requirements are complied with by a very clear and basic floor plan, a simple scheme for its execution in a short period of time and a high level of prefabrication, so that the building could be assembled quickly on-site.
Prefabricated concrete facade elements, hollow core slabs with standardized spans, modular interior division walls with aluminum-and-glass facades and a ground floor facade made of glazed brick (simplifying future maintenance) are the basic components constituting the tectonics of the project.
The volume consists of a tripartite first floor, resting on a light and dynamic ground floor. A central corridor serving as distribution and vestibule to the class rooms, offices and secondary rooms, is the only and obvious horizontal circulation space. The vertical access is ensured by a large pedestrian ramp in the exterior, giving the building a dynamic expression and at the same time making a clear statement for universal access in the school building.
Color is an important part of the project, both for a preschool building in general and for the identification of the building on the compound. Yellow symbolizes the preschool level and was used in the composition of the prefabricated facades with the rhythm of the window openings.
The result is a building that is simple enough to read but presents a strong and dynamic face towards the surrounding city, offering a generous lobby for pedestrians and cars.