BAT’s ‘urretxindorra’ school located in bilbao, the basque country, shares its site with a commercial building, the roof of which serves as the school’s playground area. from outside, the volumes seem to be one whole structure while they’re only connected by the roof and their façades are covered with a similar material — decorative and functional white micro-perforated aluminum sheets.
BAT elevated the school building, making a new playing zone underneath, while the roof of this volume is used as a garden. on the other hand, the first floor of the educational building is connected to the flat roof of the commercial building, allowing one more playground. as a result, the plot has two more buildings but still has more playground area than before.
the façade is designed to unify the two different volumes, while the layout of the school has been designed following a simple scheme, helping the user understand it easily: a straight corridor unifies the two building ends, where staircases, technical rooms, elevators, and restrooms are located. on both sides of the corridor, the classrooms are distributed symmetrically — they follow a color pattern corresponding to the grade, contrasting with the white and grey finishes of the project.
in the section, medium-height glass partitions are used improving natural lighting and allowing better interior visuals. the project seeks to achieve the maximum relation between the interior and the exterior, often using full-height openings. however, considering the use and the necessity of solar protection, a micro-perforated aluminum sheet is used. this kind of solutions acts as a filter between the indoor space and the sun, getting, as a result, a comfortable diffuse light, suitable for the educational use.
in the facade different skins are used to gain depth and to add certain complexity: a white micro-perforated sheet unifies the overall image and covers the different façade openings; a second micro-perforated layer acts as a solar protection, and a last glass and refrigeration panel layer works as the enclosure.