Spanish architect Julio Barreno recently finished an extension to the Azahar School in Cadiz, Spain. The interior of the building is painted bright green, with an array of windows spaced sporadically on the wall-scape. The extension comprises an office, staff room, canteen, toilets, a service room and a covered outdoor area for when it rains.
The architect designed the extension according to strict architectural limits due to building’s previous shape. It formed a U-shape around the backyard court and the street. The new extension had to include the several offices mentioned above, as well as maintain the flow between the two parts. Barreno added connecting hallways between old and new wings to maintain circulation throughout, and approached the entire project as if he were adding a prosthetic limb to a patient. Everything had to allow for the two limbs of the building to communicate and transition as easily as possible. The green walls allow for the space to create an experience of its own, while still maintaining the flow between old and new.
The school extension is the second of Barreno’s recent educational work in Spain. He also designed a zig-zag covered walkway at another school in Cadiz, called Víctor de la Serna y Espina. The school was originally designed in 1957 and had a symmetrical design allowing for the sexes to be taught entirely separately, but a new system at the school required the two halves to be joined. Barreno’s walkway is clad in translucent polycarbonate and provides a playground shelter for pupils as well as connecting the two entrances.