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2016 MCHAP

Lusitania Paz de Colombia School

Camilo Avalianeda Valcarcel

Medellin, Colombia

October 2015


Nelson Camilo Avellaneda Valcarcel


Leonardo Valcarcel (Architect) Clara Luz Hoyos (Architect) Juan Guillermo Guerra (Architect) Mauro Andres Diaz (Architect) Cindy Jimenez Florez (Architect)


Alcaldia de Medellin - Secretaria de Educacion


Carlos Alfonso Avellaneda Valcárcel


The accelerated and uncontrolled growth of Medellin during the last five decades produced an unbalanced conurbation, lacking the most elemental services of public infrastructure. The project of urban transformation for the city advocates to overcome those aforementioned unbalances with regards the development of transportation systems as Metrocable which connects the most isolated zones of the territory, as well as with the construction of hospitals, schools, libraries, kinder gardens and parks. The academic program of the schools proposes more and better education in order to transform the society throughout science, technology and innovation. This way it becomes the pillar for experiences that encourage the creativity and improve the learning processes for children and young students. The new spaces are connected with the surroundings in such a way that it strengthens the links between architecture and pedagogy. Pure forms are taken into account in order to divide the program into three buildings, thus creating open spaces linked to the surroundings. The articulation of the volumetric composition puts in evidence a double scale relation: a territorial one that establishes visual links along with the landscape; and a local one, where the spaces produced between the volumes, generate high impact relations in the urban and school life. Inside the three buildings, there are 27 classrooms, sports zones, libraries, labs, administration, food court and auditorium. The systems of climate and solar control are developed through double glass surfaces and poli-carbonate elements that guarantee the efficiency in terms of light in all interior spaces.


The mayor's office of Medellin along with the ministry of education proposes this new public school (12.000 m2) to be located in a zone where the socio economic conditions make life difficult for children and teenagers during primary and secondary education. Due to those reasons, a proposal is made for a new building that fosters an adequate academic development in all levels of knowledge. The building operates as an urban referent associated to the environment protection as it is placed next to an important river inside the hydric net of the city, thus defining the border of the metropolitan park, which, due to its vegetal species and fauna, becomes a fundamental piece of the main ecological net of Medellin. The different spacial atmospheres foster the collaborative work and generate multiple possibilities for the development of outdoor activities. The school is integrated with the immediate surroundings through open spaces that permit the interconnection with trees and residential areas around.


The school is an urban referent that integrates space and pedagogy as well as it promotes a school program where learning is established as a game and an adventure. The challenges and goals are overcome through science and technological tools that allow students to access to a transformative and creative knowledge. The pedagogical processes are aimed to reinforce student’s attention through current high impact topics as robotics, domotics and computational thinking, an important aspect to develop analytic skills. The aim is to form citizens with a global thinking that encourages them to break the known limits in order to create new horizons. The different spaces awake in the student a sense of belonging and a marked interest for the research which becomes tangible with new ideas and strategies in order to understand and make the access to knowledge easier.

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