The new Docet Institute is a preschool in Monterrey, Mexico that was designed with a sensitive eye toward children’s needs, energy requirements, and the wooded downtown property it is sited on. The interior is spacious and light-filled, and it wraps around to preserve a natural area with mature trees. The architects at Stación-ARquitectura Arquitectos took the brilliant step of wrapping the school in a breathable metal skin to reduce heat gain, which in turn substantially lowers operating costs for the school in the balmy Mexican climate.
The school is located along a main street in town, on a site that featured a number of mature trees. The trees were preserved by carefully placing the building, which has an L-shape. The gauzy façade was developed by the architect and manufactured at a local machine shop. To create it, corrugated steel sheets were punched and coated with a white paint. The sheets are installed on a block wall and provide protection from the sun in addition to a unique, soft profile that fits within the project’s limited budget.