Official Languages School

The building adapts to the steep topography of the site, occupying the smallest possible area, in order to take the rest of the plot as a plaza and garden. Being the area humid, cold and windy, and considering that budget does not allow for heating, the main purpose of the building is to achieve maximum comfort through the use of passive solar systems and bioclimatic design, both in the classrooms and in the outdoors space. In order to achieve this, the building is organized in a U shaped volume, and located at the northeast corner of the plot acts as a windscreen protecting the entrance porch and the plaza from the prevailing cold wind from the north. The classrooms and the plaza are oriented facing southwest, benefiting from a long sun exposure and having great panoramic views of the plain of La Laguna.

Classrooms are located upstairs, with large windows to the southwest having thick concrete slats to screen the light from south. These concrete slats have high thermal inertia, which is used to provide heat to the interior of the class. On the other hand, ventilation is consistent across the classroom, as gridiron windows distributed between the slats allow for constant renewal of outdoor air.  This air, as it circulates among slats collects their accumulated heat and enters the class warmer than the outside air. The building is clad with dark gray basalt stone, which helps to absorb heat at noon and holds it until the evening when the building is most used and the outside temperature is lower.

Client: Dirección General de Infraestructura Educativa Gobierno de Canarias. (Public Administration)

Location: La Verdellada, La Laguna, Tenerife. Spain

Construction Company: Mejias y Rodriguez

Built Area: 1.945,05 m²

Project Date: August 2000

End Of Works: September 2005

Budget: 1.187.560,92 €

Architect: Cristina González Vázquez de Parga | Federico García Barba

Design Team: Jorge Mosquera Paniagua | Javier Ramos Díaz

Rigger: Félix Hernández Hernández | Manuel Asensio

Industrial Engineer: SANLO INGENIEROS

Awards: Selected Work of Manuel Oraá and Arocha Architecture Prize 2002-2003

Publications: Contemporary Architecture Guide Tenerife. 1962-2006

Public & Cultural