Alcoves and frames / The façade as a space
The new Waldorf School “El Til·ler” (The Linden Tree) in Bellaterra, Barcelona, proposes a contemporary spatial expression of the Waldorf-Steiner pedagogy.
The layout of the buildings follows the topography; they are arranged along a meandering “rambla” (the Mediterranean name for high street) which ends on a square that opens to the landscape and the exceptional views onto the Vallès Valley and the Collserola mountains. The access to the classrooms follows a gradual spatial transition: from the rambla one goes down or up to the playground of each age, then through a porch, a vestibule, and finally into the classroom.
Five buildings from two other plots currently occupied by the school are recycled; they are dismantled, transported, and reconstructed in a new configuration, carefully adapted to the conditions of the school’s new site -topography, sun exposure, views, access and existing vegetation.
The new building, which houses kindergarten and common spaces, concentrates the columns at the facades, forming thick buttresses. The spaces between the buttresses become alcoves, which are shaped according to the needs of each space. From the outside, the alcoves are contained within frames which order the facade and visually reduce the size of the building, bringing it closer to that of children.
The seasonal table, the most singular spatial element of the Waldorf pedagogy, organizes the new kindergarten classrooms. This small altar, where the cycles of nature are explained, is placed focally, within an alcove that provides a unique natural light -lateral, reflected and diffuse.
The façade evolves from a flat surface into an inhabited space. The classroom turns into a house, and the school becomes a small village on a hill.
Recycling of existing buildings -they are dismantled, transported to the school's new site and reconstructerd in a new configuration, carefully adapted to the site's conditions - topgraphy, sun exposure, circulations:
Complete project explanation in the book: