Situated in La Orotava, Spain, the Rafael Arozarena Highschool was designed to blend into its surrounding topography while utilizing the building's site in a sensitive manner. Designed by AMP Arquitectos and completed in 2004, the design utilizes simple, low-maintenance materials to beautiful effect. The school sits on a terraced hillside, and its stained concrete and stone construction shows respect to the site's former landscape of farmland, retaining walls, and stone paths.
The site was previously used for farming traditional crops — it featured a 20 meter-high terraced slope that was built with stone walls. Simple materials like concrete and stone were used to build the high school in order to retain the same feel of the original landscape. The concrete is stained from green to red to connect the building to both its rural setting and the urban historic area of La Oratava.
Some windows are protected by louvered shades to reduce sun exposure inside the building, and grass courtyards give students open spaces to gather and meet. The large gymnasium is partially set into the earth in order to improve its thermal performance while preserving views over the valley and the sea. Finally, angled skylights on the roof let light into the interior spaces below.