The rural ethnic coffee growing province of Chuquibambilla, located in the Central Highlands of Peru, on the western part of the district of Pangoa, is the commercial and cultural center of this region. About 1600 families live in the town, with over 250 children attending primary and secondary school level. Due to the lack of proper facilities, the community is forced to teach the children under very uncomfortable conditions, with some of them forced to travel very long distances or just don’t attend school. The main idea is that besides a teaching facility, the project can be a place of development and gathering for the whole community, allowing them to use it in several ways, rather than just a school. A building with a strong social character, engaging the local population to be part of the creation process. The plan is articulated into different modules around an inner courtyard, the heart of the project. The program includes, besides the classrooms, an administration and teachers’ room, a multipurpose room (library, workshops, etc.), a computer room, and also a residence for students which, along with the school modules, encloses the courtyard. While the teaching modules have the same aesthetic, the residence looks more like a house, more playful. It has been envisaged to develop some outside spaces for various activities, connecting the students to the environment and their own traditions, like art and clay workshops, craftship, agronomy, animal breeding, farming, etc. Furthermore, a system of covered and open spaces for leisure and learning purposes, completes the central courtyard. A shaded path connects the program; this path, more than a corridor, is a meeting place, sometimes becoming an extension of the program itself. We took advantage of the local resources assuring a secure, strong and anti-seismic structure. The aim was to build a public facility that lasts and which requires low maintenance, allowing important savings in time. The architectural design assumes several climatic principles, such as natural ventilation and lighting, or protection from the heavy rains and strong sun exposure, amongst others. As the site doesn’t have a public draining network, a septic tank is build, and the heavy waters are treated and re-used for the irrigation of green areas. Also, materials from other industrial process and leftovers from the construction are to be used for decoration and school equipment. The local population is invited to join in the building process, mainly through workshops with some of its members. Along that, participated design workshops are held with school teachers, and arts and crafts workshops are held with the students to produce ornaments, school and leisure equipment, mainly with the use of local natural materials, such as coconut leafs, clay and wood.
Studio: AMA – Afonso Maccaglia Architecture / BOSCH ARQUITECTOS
Project name: Chuquibambilla Schiil Project
Year: April 2013 – December 2013
Location: Chuquibambilla, Satipo, Peru
Client: Procesadora del Sur S.A.
Project Team: Paulo Afonso, Marta Maccaglia, Ignacio Bosch, Borja Bosch, Manuel Cardenas Aspajo, JIC S.A. – Angel Javier Garcia Paucar, Local community, Elias Josè Martinez Ramos, Maximo Ñhaui Centeno
Area: 985 m2
Image credits Courtesy of: Paulo Afonso / Marta Maccaglia