Thau School in Barcelona
Adapted walkways for access to the Thau Barcelona School.
Project to extend the Escola Thau in Sant Cugat del Vallès, providing the school with the necessary facilities to offer a third stream of infants’, primary and secondary education; extending classroom areas, improving the canteen service and entrances, and introducing a new playground with an outdoor amphitheater.
The THAU school in Sant Cugat del Vallés was built between 1996 and 2002 by RGA architects. It is a building with a floor plan in the shape of a comb, with the main body of two floors that serves as a distribution corridor and three bodies of classrooms and one of the kitchens and dining area attached perpendicular to the first. Our expansion project basically envisaged providing the school with the necessary facilities to host the third line for pre-school, primary and secondary education, improve and expand the dining and kitchen area and, finally, incorporate a new playground. To do this, it was decided, firstly, to respect the original plan as much as possible so that the expansion did not enter into opposition with the existing one, but rather added to the whole harmoniously and, secondly, to occupy the minimum area possible of the empty part of the site to be able to maintain and even expand the play areas.
With these objectives, the dining area was renovated, expanding the kitchen and improving access, incorporating a canopy to protect the entrance. As for the teaching area, it was decided to place part of the new classroom facilities on the existing strip of pre-school rooms that was on a single floor and to place the rest of the primary education classrooms, special-instruction classrooms, tutorials, multipurpose rooms, and services, in a new strip, perpendicular to the main body, but on the other side of the distribution corridor. In this new body, also of two floors, most of the program is located on the upper floor, with the exception of the multipurpose rooms and the services for courtyards and outdoor sports courts, which are situated on the ground floor. This allows us to free up a large space on the ground floor as a porch in the open air and, in turn, to connect the play areas located on both sides. Given the slope of the plot, by widening the playing fields we had the opportunity to deal with the change of height through a grandstand area, thus providing the school with a small outdoor amphitheater.