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Highschool Mem Martins

Competition 1st Prize - Highschool - Mem Martins - 2010

The positioning of the school finds its echo on the spontaneity of its northern context. The social and services program draw a topography line that cuts through the whole terrain establishing the natural continuity between the existing and the future neighbourhood. The formal learning body (classrooms and laboratories) is a one level 88mx88m square, establishing a new built reference for the future developments, floating above the landscape and framing the Sintra mountain.

From the tension between floor and plate, a space of transition is born where the informal learning is to be privileged. This in between void defines a route through a succession of interior and exterior spaces, and structures the fundamental school´s nucleus. The plate articulates voids of various dimensions which fulfill different functions: guarantee an effective lighting of the classrooms (south); roof lighting of the social spaces located on the ground and intermediate floor; visual connections between the laboratories, workshops and social spaces. The voids also define a network of natural spaces that guarantee a high environmental quality for the building, contributing for an excellent energetic performance.

The territory of the atrium and social areas contaminates all other floors of the school through a circulation axis perpendicular to the main axis. Two generous staircases are complemented by a system of ramps leading to all floors of the building and finally reaching the formal body of the classrooms. The long ramp, crosses all main spaces of the building, and is by excellence the symbolic space of the continuous learning, intersected by moments of pause and discovery.


Team: João Moura Fagulha, João Prates Ruivo, Raquel Maria Oliveira, Tudor Vasiliu. Renders: Panoptikon. Client: Parque Escolar E.P.E.