Xiroi Kindergarten: Two layers of color activity ―
The “Xiroi” kindergarten is a project where color is an important factor: in the exterior, the nursery is defined by a perforated plate façade with a variety of colors, while in the interior the children put the color with their own, daily activities.
This municipal educational facility in Barcelona is a mutant building. Its unique location in a strange and meager site, created as a result of urban planning, presented challenges that had to be resolved with limited resources. The shape of the construction site, an irregular triangle in the axis of the street, opened a debate on the shape of the volume and how it should be perceived from the outside. The solution lies in having one layer within another.
In its interior, the school´s closed volume provides the different functions in 3 levels (which is unusual in these facilities) served by another 3 areas for the children to play. On the ground floor there is a garden facing the street, on the first floor there is a multipurpose room and on the second floor there is a terrace for outdoor play. All these spaces, protected from the exterior, must remain isolated from direct views, and have a high security level.
From the outside the micro-perforated plates of various colors blend with the vegetation of the future park while creating an image of homogeneity in the building. Thus, the triangular polyhedron accepts irregular limits following the functionality of its interior use, putting an accent, somewhat necessary, to the urban perspectives of this small site.
The colored plate facade allows this building to be changing, mutating throughout the day since its transparencies and visual games generate surprising, unexpected effects. Depending on the effect of light on the façade, according to the time of the day, the school blends in a different way with its surrounding, either shines, or turns opaque, or it opens with transparencies.
The color concentrates in the exterior, in the perforated skin. The green, ochre, and brown shades, extracted from the vegetation itself, get mixed up with the trees and vegetation from the park. In the interior, the colors come from the children and their own activity. Their backpacks, toys, and handcrafted works paint with color the white classrooms. The only distinctive element is the stairway that connects the three floors, covered with highly resistant yellow boards.
The new triangular polyhedron of Europa Street is being integrated in its neighborhood. The edges and soft colors of its façade are beginning to belong to this strange location in the center of the city.
Architecture: ESPINET/UBACH Arquitectes i associats, S.L.P.
Photography: Pegenaute Architectural Photography