Oaxacan vernacular takes on new life at La Salle University in Mexico, where the Physiotherapy and Nursing Faculty are built with a combination of clay and bamboo. Architects at B_Rootstudio and Arquitectos Artesanos designed the building as a symmetrical volume with a central corridor and topped the whole thing off with a striking roof.
The building’s structure is based on traditional construction methods used in Oaxaca. Red bricks were used due to its aesthetic potential and allow different textural patterns that allude to the human spinal column. The colorful roof was formed from a steel frame complete with bamboo beams covered with plywood. The connections between the bamboo and the metal structure represent a simple low-cost solution made of common elements welded together. The plywood was covered with a layer of asphaltic cardboard in different colors.
The symmetric volume has a central corridor that constitutes the main circulation area, while a secondary circulation path meanders around the volumes and allows users to exit without disturbing the classes. It also functions as an escape path in case of emergency.