Architect Ana Garcia Sala of Foursquare Arquitectos, with M2 distribución, worked in conjunction with ceramic tile specialists at Natucer to create colorful skins for the innovation centre for children. On a recent trip to Valencia, Spain, designboom was given a guided tour of the experimental education complex, a program which called for an architectural form that encouraged creativity and social integration in children as well as a building that integrates the sustainable technology. Apart from the inviting rounded shapes, color was an essential part of creating an environment that evokes exploration.
Each cylindrical module is clad in an array of colorful ceramic tiles. The glazed porcelain was extruded during carefully timed firing cycles, calculated to yield the correct degree of curvature required for each facade. The building’s facade was presented as an exemplary use of porcelain ceramic tiling during the 2013 CEVISIMA trade fair, which is dedicated to showcasing previously unseen technical innovations in the glazing, finishing processes and design capacities for ceramic tiles. The brilliantly glazed ceramic porcelain tiles on the innovation centre are attached to slotted tracks with aluminum staples and are part of a metal substructure that uses panels of aluminum cladding and mineral wool.
Exterior cladding, once thought forever relegated to rustic-looking grout and clay tiles, can be a fine, vibrant skin. Additionally, the school uses both solar panels, special resin-treated floors and geothermal energy for climate control and regulation. The fun and light-hearted exteriors are only interrupted by quirky square windows that allow passive natural lighting in the rounded, spiraling interiors.
The building far exceeds the role of container and becomes an object to behold in bustling environment, replete with growing minds. The pods become centers of activity that create spatial relationships and contribute to the cognitive development models being implemented in the classrooms.
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