Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Escola Secundária Dom Dinis, Lisboa, Portugal

Exemplary design categories: flexible learning settings, library/media/resource centre, outdoor spaces, school/community regeneration

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The concept of this renovation and extension project was to introduce a new central building – serving as the administrative and social hub of the school - to connect and transform the existing pavilions, creating a kind of “learning street” for students and teachers who can traverse from one point to another.

The school layout was conceived as two interconnected structural rings. A shallow ring connects the administrative sector and all the school spaces available for use by the community after school hours. The community use the school every day for adult education courses, recreational activities and community meetings. A second deeper ring intertwines the teaching and learning spaces and staff work spaces. The two rings intersect in the social sector, which includes the school library/resource centre, the multi purpose room, areas for exhibiting students’ work and other didactic materials, and the food court. The use of varied heights and materials, colour and glassed areas create an environment that is visually connected and attractive. Informal learning spaces are positioned along the building, and indoor and outdoor spaces can be used as social, recreational or learning spaces. The school was modernised as part of the Secondary School Building Modernisation Programme launched by the Portuguese government in 2007.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
The School's Executive Board and the teachers were very closely involved in the planning and design process in terms of defining the design brief, and establishing the number, type and functional requirements of learning and non-learning spaces.

Activity Areas: The new building is composed of the main entrance, library, auditorium (200 seats), teachers’ departments, teachers’ social areas, meeting rooms, photocopying room, and informal areas for students and teachers. Modernised areas are external areas for sports and playground, sports pavilion, restaurant and bar, administration areas, students’ areas, multi-purpose classrooms, computer and new technologies departments, laboratories and art and design departments.

Project costs: EUR 9,500,000.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

  • Global rating average: 0.0 out of 5
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
not rated

User perspectives (2)

I never dreamed that the school could become what it is today: with comfortable conditions, decorations made by professionals, and with a lot of habitability conditions. There is no comparison with what it was previously...Regarding the requalification I outline, first of all, the confort; secondly, the aesthetics since there is a effective of the look of the school and, lastly, the technological issue that is an enormous advance. The change is always good. The renovation is the beginning of something..."
Nuno Gil, Student
"I like the new school. There is still few space left for students to seat in between classes since one part of the school is still under construction, but we managed to see that some existing problems have been solved and thatis positive. The auditorium surprised me a lot. Classrooms have good quality, we have didactic boards and interactive boards. I haven’t seen yet any table scratched, materials are impeccable. I find a little less surveillance, we see less staff in the infrastructures but I think it will be only because of the starting the school year."
Maria Judite Gonçalves, vice-president of Executive Board

Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Floor Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Architect Ricardo Bak Gordon, Bak Gordon Arquitectos
Elevations Sections (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Architect Ricardo Bak Gordon, Bak Gordon Arquitectos
Location plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Architect Ricardo Bak Gordon, Bak Gordon Arquitectos
Furniture plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Architect Ricardo Bak Gordon, Bak Gordon Arquitectos