We've been seeing a cool, but not necessarily new, trend where architects take old buildings and wrap them up in shiny new skins to rejuvenate them. The treatment, which is exactly the tack that CrystalZoo took when renovating this old school building in Novelda, Spain, saves a ton of material since it builds upon an existing structure - with an added bonus that the result usually has a sci-fi "one building swallowed another" type of look. Called Casal de la Juventud de Novelda, the school has a new outer membrane that optimizes its efficiency while pops of saturated color in the windows infuse it with vibrancy.
In addition to the adaptive reuse of an existing building, CrystalZoo made sure that what new construction was done was streamline to minimize waste. The materials used were chosen for their low impact, renewability and recyclability, durability and low maintenance. The school’s skin also aids in accumulation or dissipation of solar energy, depending on the weather, to reduce the need for artificial cooling or heating.
The futuristic feel of the school’s silver membrane is softened by the greenery of the courtyard, a valuable
open space within the dense urban fabric. Hilly sections of grass rise up from the hardscape, breaking up the grey areas and creating a connection to the apple green glow of select windows. The yard also serves as a plaza for social activity in Novelda, and a welcome place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.