PROMONTORIO – Parque Kindergarten, 2010



Located in the vicinity of the Cascais, the Parque kindergarten occupies a steep and quasi-triangular plot in an allotment of oversized villas. Densely vegetated, the plot forms a cul-de-sac wherein the two-storey building occupies its core while accommodating to the topography and gently inflecting its volume to save as many trees as possible.

Working in close collaboration with the teachers and pedagogues, the design premises attempted to challenge the preconceived tenets of classroom space-planning, into a more fluid and dynamic spatial interaction that meets the increasing demand for flexibility in the learning methods, both at kindergarten and primary school levels. After research and mock-up testing with the Parque team, the pentagonal classroom module gained consistency as a unifying environment able to respond to a dynamic multitask educational project.

Conceptually, these spaces form a kind of Euclidean honeycomb, whose tessellation generates a series of irregular polygons of variable height freely arranged to organically accommodate the programme. In doing so, it pays tribute a long-standing enquiry into honeycomb and organic pattern design; an investigation that was particularly fertile from the second half of the 20th-century onwards. Such is the case with the Parque kindergarten, wherein the inner circulation space on the edge larger pentagons unfolds in a sinuous meandering within angular hallways.

Ranging in scale and height; the classrooms, the library, the art room and the canteen flow in a sequence of generous and surprising spaces both from the outside and the inside. Whitewashed in burnt lime, the tectonic articulation between the portent walls of bond brickwork with expressively tooled concave joints framed by concrete cast in-situ, contrasts with large and transparent glass panes cased in thick white-painted wood frames. The latter, when open, blur the boundaries between outside and inside. In addition, the occasionally punctured brickwork lets air and light into a series of secluded patios.


architects: PROMONTORIO

location: Cascais (greater Lisbon), Portugal

surface: 1400 m2

year/status: 2010 (built)

structure: concrete

materials: bond brickwork and concrete cast in-situ whitewashed in burnt lime and wood painted frames

client: Parque, Solucoes Infanto-pedagogicas, SA

photography: Fernando Guerra / FG+SG

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