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.
Educative Park of Marinilla in Colombia by El Equipo Mazzanti
April 22nd, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: El Equipo Mazzanti
The main goal of the project is to provide the community of Marinilla with a space where their cultural identities can be expressed, recognized and most importantly can be promoted and preserved. This is a building conceived as an open space, where relevant traits of the paisa culture like gardening, planting, playing guitar, drinking coffee or simply rest on a hammock take place around classrooms that are constantly exposed to the town´s weather and natural environment.
The educational park aims to become a meeting place around learning, defined as a practice based on the building of knowledge through the dialogue between people and the built and natural environments.
The Marinilla project more than a building is a public space itself. It is a system conceived on the idea of growth and expansion capable of providing spatial opportunities to accommodate the needs and wants of future users.
It can be imagined as an unfinished network of spaces that can connect to similar pieces in order to increase their impact on the urban fabric. Due to its capacity to work as a branch system, the project allows the construction of open geometric forms that are able to be easily replicated and connected to new branches. Moreover, the idea of a physical incompleteness not only intends to accommodate future changes responding to the need of grow; but also the project is imagined as permeable container that can be constantly modified by it users. The building then becomes an ever changing entity that transforms itself as it is activated and taken over by the community.
The interior spaces of the project are designed to accommodate different educational and musical activities by providing closed, opened, flexible and controlled environments. Alongside these formal and more academic settings we generated a series of empty and open spaces intended to house sporadic events such as small concerts, lectures, exhibitions, theater performances and other activities that can bring together the people of Marinilla. These spaces become part of the branches growing out of the central core of the project with the purpose of attracting people to come watch and participate in the activities that generate in the inside. This become a physical strategy that facilitates the inhabitation and appropriation of the project.
On a more material side, the building is designed with a steel frame covered with a metal mesh that creates the feeling of being inside a bird cage. Such materiality produces an enclosed and transparent environment, which allows the surrounding landscape to extend and growth within the building.
The structure is conceived as an insight skeleton that manages to be present without being intrusive, by creating color uniformity and a relationship between the skin and its frame all along the building. Both the facades and the lower and upper exterior planes are composed by prefabricated metal mesh panels attached to the building´s structure allowing for a quick and simple assemblage.
On the other side, due to the building´s open configuration the metal mesh not only works as a permeable enclosure that welcomes and limits. It is also the connecting element between the building and the natural environment by allowing natural ventilation to flow in and natural light to brighten the inside. Furthermore because the building´s hilltop location, the metal mesh gives the opportunity to create continuous and direct views to the town and its surroundings.
The more formal interior spaces (in need of climate and acoustic control) are enclosed by red polycarbonate walls. Such materiality gives the classrooms a particular look that highlights them with the surroundings and creates a visual contrast between the interior learning spaces and the event exterior spaces. For the floor we used a wood-plastic composite creating a warmer feeling without breaking with the material composition.
Finally for the landscape design we planted different vines that eventually will growth within the building adding color and liveliness to it. The landscape strategy also aims to strength the relationship between the building and its users by inviting them to take care and interact with the flowers inside and outside.
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