Pedro Mosca & Pedro Gonçalves Arquitectos
ARCHITECTS IN CHARGE
Pedro Mosca, Pedro Gonçalves
João Belo, Luísa Barreira
Sika, Banema, Gerflor, Knauf, Polyrey, Plaka, Weber, Europlan, Forbo, Jnf, Verdasca & Verdasca
Text description provided by architect.
The LSF School is located in the city of Porto and it occupies almost all the area of the triangular lot where it is built.
It was our intention to preserve one of the oldest buildings of the complex – the “Palacete” – which is as well as one part of the preexistent school – corresponding to the most recently built volume -, and the existing chapel.
The previously existing scholar complex wasn’t able to respond to the necessities inherent to the functions of a School, due to the evolution of educational and pedagogical demands.
Therefore, we adopted an interventive strategy, through the creation of spaces that fitted the school’s expectations, that allowed for the improvement of security conditions and the spatial and ambiental quality of the building, as the new School intended to offer preschool education, first and second cycles of Basic Education.
Henceforth, the new building is organized in 3 floors above ground – meant for the school’s spaces – and 1 floor below ground – destined for parking -, and it is composed by 5 bodies with differentiated volumes that are connected on the interior.
The central body is where we can find the main entrance and service spaces, it is, also, where the 5 bodies, previously described the Southside’s body is meant for the preschool’s spaces; the Northside’s Body is constituted by the Basic Education’s classrooms, and the Westside’s Body is where we can find the Sports Hall and the Auditorium – with a capacity of 398 seats.
Having in mind the possibility of an autonomous usage of the space, this last body, on the Westside, has an independent entrance, through an exterior and covered atrium that welcomes the external users of the space. Therefore, we defined two main axes that act as guiding lines for the project.
The main entrance, meant for the daily use, is done through a private access – for pedestrians and cars -, that slices the lot and connects the two streets that make up its perimeter.
This entrance is characterized by the big balance of the concrete canopy-like roof that welcomes the user and allows for their route, from the street to the inside of the school, to be covered and protected from the changing weather.
The intersection of the different volumes allowed for the creation of patios that served the main school’s spaces, such as the area destined for the Preschool Education, the recess areas for the Basic Education, and the Sports Field.
Regarding the urban impact of the building and having in mind the diminishing of the new construction’s impact on the surrounding streets, we receded the volumes with 3 floors above ground from the street front, we fragmented the general volumetry of the building and created a concrete base to emphasize its horizontality while it accompanies the movement of the street.