Escuelita Buganvilia

Situated on the remote and beautiful southwestern coast of Guatemala, the new classroom prototype serves a growing rural community, that up until recently had limited access to formal education. The design is a collaboration between the architects, a local non for profit agency, the community and the School’s director to address increased enrollment and an existing deteriorating physical facility. The project is intended to provide a comfortable and stimulating learning environment for the children, capable of being easily and affordably replicated throughout the site as the school continues to expand. Thus the project was developed with a selective kit of parts, capable of being assembled, edited and expanded as needed.

Built in concrete and steel, contemporary materials used in the vernacular constructions of the region today, the new building houses five classrooms and a set of bathrooms. Its overall form is a direct response to the particulars of the hot and humid tropical environment with a prominent metal roof that overhangs more than two and a half meters beyond the edges of the building. The overhang provides protection from the intense tropical heat and incessant rains and serves as a space of circulation and informal gatherings for the children. Its base is lined with concrete benches that transform this outdoor area into an impromptu classroom as well, nearly doubling the footprint of usable space.

— Location
Escuintla, Guatemala

— Status
Completed September 2015

— Area
3,200 sq. ft.