The project will deliver an expansion and renovation of the current school buildings. With an average daily high of 31°C, a permeable architecture was sought, which allows for passive ventilation and shading. The school will be housed in four pavilions scattered in the center of the village, according to the “urban” characteristics of Nueva Venecia where the brackish water of the swamp acts as a street and each property is isolated from each other.
An existing pedestrian bridge that crosses the main facilities of the village, connects the new classrooms, teachers’ lounge, a small computer room, and toilets, turning the school into a set of open spaces that integrate into the existing order of the settlement. Since there is no sewerage system, wastewater is treated using a biodigester to purify water that is then returned to the swamp. Given the high degree of illiteracy (57%) and school dropout, the new school aims to promote permanence, belonging and greater access to education not only for children, but also for the entire community.
Project status: Design stage completed, expected completion of construction - May 2024.
The project’s clear vocation for community empowerment stood out, demonstrating a deep commitment to engaging and uplifting the local community. Additionally, the project’s focus on preserving local ecosystems endangered by human action was recognized as commendable, showcasing a responsible approach to environmental conservation. The jury particularly appreciated the innovative biological waste-water treatment and management system which demonstrated a thoughtful consideration for the ecosystem health. In terms of building design and construction, the jury applauded the project’s meticulous selection and responsible use of locally sourced materials. These materials were thoughtfully incorporated through a combination of traditional and contemporary construction techniques, resulting in carbon reduction, and strengthening the project’s ties to the local context.
The reduction of energy consumption through passive ventilation strategies, such as cross ventilation through windows on opposite walls and large canopies/overhangs to create shaded areas to reduce solar exposure on the envelopes were highly valued by the jury. These thoughtful design strategies not only improve energy efficiency but also contribute to a comfortable and pleasant learning environment for the students. Lastly, the jury appreciated the project’s straightforward and replicable design strategies, acknowledging its potential as a model for future sustainable school projects in similar locations.