Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
RAFAL SECONDARY SCHOOL in Alicante, Spain by Grupo Aranea
September 15th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Grupo Aranea
The project for the Rafal High School was addressed in 2007 as a frontal rejection of the speculative urban sprawl that has been responsible for the rapid disappearance of the fertile agricultural land in the area of Vega Baja, transforming it into a landscape dotted with series of cloned houses totally foreign to this place.
Located slap in the middle of this context, the idea behind the High School was to perform the function of an infrastructure with the potential to generate a place protected from its hostile urbanised surroundings. The students at Rafal High School needed other points of reference and a space of their own in which they could start to reinvent the world.
However, we were fully conscious that it was impossible to openly confront the tsunami of property development with a user-friendly, unpretentious architecture. Instead the project would have to operate with greater patience and try to project into the future.
We needed the active involvement of the carefree teenagers sliding down the pink ramp to the schoolyard. Would they be able to hope for something better than the sinister future of semi-detached terrace houses planned for them? Is it really possible to reverse this situation?
At the current moment in time, many of the planned housing estates surrounding the school have not actually been built yet, and so some of the protection mechanisms are still not required. With the passing of time some of the farmers in the area of Rafal are beginning to return the land to its original agricultural use, and small, spontaneous holdings are springing up in this expanse of land zoned for construction, alongside rusting signs for future development now postponed without date.
When walking around this ghost town, the Rafal High School rises like a ship which has run aground in a urbanised desert, waiting for the next tide…”
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