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columbia architecture, school building, demos arquitectos, passive solar, el caracol, kindergarten architecture, natural daylighting

The kindergarten’s main entrance is similar to a city street lined with galleries such as offices and meeting rooms. The main “road” feeds into a central courtyard surrounded by classrooms, similar to a cul-de-sac. The courtyard is not unlike a central town square, where meetings, events, and entertainment are held. Classrooms are past the main courtyard, where the rooms are more isolated and general foot traffic begins to lessen.

The classrooms are simple modular buildings with one wall covered in windows. Fun, brightly colored blocks help break up the uniformity of the facade and create a unique lighting effect within the building. Built facing the north west, the building captures sunlight throughout the day, which is then adjusted with micro perforated sheets and blinds. Thermal and acoustic insulated facades also help maintain the building’s internal temperature.

The outdoor play area is similar to a back yard, minimal and open with a complete view of the back of the building. Children not only learn to play together but understand the concept of staying in the yard like theirs at home, and not wandering into the street. The kindergarten’s home-away-from-home scheme makes going to school extra fun!