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Escola Bahia

where is it
2018 - ongoing
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
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The intervention for the construction of the school takes place in the difficult reality of the Sao Cristovao district, a highly degraded area with a lack of infrastructure on the outskirts of Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil.
The building is part of a larger architectural complex which includes, in addition to the school, a kindergarten, already built, sports fields and a convent building nearing completion. The entire work is part of an international social project promoted by the Franciscan Fraternity of Betania which through the "Bethany Foundation Onlus" aims to create a village for children from poor areas of Salvador de Bahia, offering them a new perspective of life that helps them to grow in the spiritual and educational dimension.
The design guidelines are the synthesis of a long participatory process between the Fraternity and the designers characterized by the analysis of the functional program and the Brazilian social, economic and environmental context.
The desire to establish a direct dialogue with the context has led architecture to express itself with a simple and familiar language, using local materials and construction techniques and exploiting the alphabet
element of passive design to improve environmental well-being and minimize the energy consumption of plant systems.
A large roof houses the photovoltaic panels for the production of electricity; generous overhangs and vertical brise-soleil systems protect the buildings from excessive solar radiation.
Rainwater is recovered through a system of downspouts and pipes on the roof and conveyed to a storage tank to be used
in sanitary drainage systems, for cleaning environments and watering green areas.
In order to ensure natural ventilation, the building does not have a compact volume but is organized into distinct functional volumes, aligned on different positions and oriented to be able to make optimal use of the
direction of the main winds and fully enjoy their beneficial effects on air exchange and cooling.
Joined by a single roof and connected by a system of external galleries, these volumes are organized around two large courtyards.
The first is a covered auditorium that serves as a gathering space and theater stalls overlooked by the balconies, which become galleries during the shows.
The second is, however, an equipped green courtyard, a protected square, a place for meetings and affection, where the sense of community and belonging can be developed and
where to carry out special outdoor lessons.
The school offers a complete educational path, from the first schooling to the professional school through an articulated functional program which is revealed in the spatial distribution: the different school cycles are housed in the east and west volumes, positioned in antithesis in order to optimize and separate the courses based on the different age groups; the volumes that occupy the central part of the building house the functions common to the various teaching cycles (library, media library, canteen, special laboratories
of art, science, music and dance), acting as elements of union and meeting.
The architectural complex is configured as an urban microcosm made up of streets, squares, green areas, common areas and private spaces for a total covered area of 5,700 m2.

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