The San Vicente Ferrer community center brings high quality education to a small farming municipality in the central northwestern part of Colombia. Part of a larger initiative to bring small-scale public buildings to eighty municipalities across the country, the design of the community center embodies the needs and wishes of the local community. Plan:b Arquitectos designed the building as a natural extension of the landscape with a large stepped patio at its center.
The building is located on the edge of the town center and occupies a flattened piece of land well connected to the rest of the community. The architects collaborated with the locals to reach a design that would reflect their needs. Through several meetings, the Government of Antioquia, the architects and representatives of the community worked together to create an optimal design with a central patio that could function as an open air theater.
The building aims to restore the outline of the mountain part which had to be flattened to make room for the center. This is achieved by designing a stepped patio and pitched roof segments that introduce additional natural light into the interior. Every interior space has a skylight orientated to receive indirect light, and the cold north-south air stream is obstructed with the arms of the building allowing a temperate climate in the interior patio which serves as an open air stage.
Photos by Alejandro Arango