State School “Nuestra Sra. del Rosari"

Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary Education State School “Nuestra Sra. Del Rosario”. Ademuz, Valencia

There is rarely a chance to design a building counting with such future view as the new Ademuz public school will be able to enjoy. This is thanks to its great location in the lower part of the town, near Bohilques river basin, an area of outstanding natural beauty next to the old road that skirts the town beneath it.

However, this also means a double commitment, having also to incorporate the school’s new building to the town’s own houses styles when seen from the landscape. It is not an easy challenge since the town of Ademuz is formed by a succession of small residential buildings aligned in a picturesque way following the contour lines of the hill on which the town has been developed. The difference in scale with the new school building Project is considerable and it has been solved by trying, also in this occasion, to keep the volume faithfully following the parallel with the contour line that belongs to it, in this case defined by the path of the old road. The location of the school, taking the town as a reference is on the lowest spot of it, and the proportions of an elongated volume enable us to see it as a line that highlights the beginning of the urban area, resembling a uniform foundation on which the town develops in fragmented volumes. The white facades also underline this assertion of the school’s identity as a starting line for the rest of the residents built volumes, colourful and picturesque.

The building is located exactly in the step formed by the difference in level between the old road and the plain of the river channel. The height difference of about 9.00m made it recommendable to build a screen of retaining piles used as earth support, from which the building is separated by an empty space. At the point of contact between the building and the land we can find the beginning of the porch, incorporating this open space in the building structure, in line with the open spaces of the sports ground.
Some parts of the school are arranged for ground floors in a perpendicular way to the main building in order to separate, within these open spaces, those for users of different educational levels; kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. In a similar way, taking advantage of this relationship between the building and the land, independent accesses have been arranged at different levels for each of the groups; from the lowest and most sheltered part there is access to kindergarten, at the intermediate level through the south end to primary, and in a midpoint of the old road, converted into an urban crossing, through a suspended pathway that bridges the gap between the old road and the building there is access to the secondary school and high school.
By the primary access is the main hall that groups, in two levels, the three heights of the building structure.

Every classroom overlooks the river.

The walls that even the differences in ground level heights have been finished with colour concrete in order to improve their landscape integration. In the built volume the plinth is made of Portuguese moka stone, and the main body has been coated with a light colour, almost white.