Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Escuela Amelia Barahona de Mujica, Gualliguaica, Comuna de Vicuña, Chile

Exemplary design categories: community use and involvement, cultural and historical value, green school, outdoor spaces

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
In 1990, the 500-year-old town of Gualliguaica was destroyed in a flood from a nearby dam. The school is one of the main features of the reconstructed town, which was rebuilt by the town’s inhabitants. The Galliguaica wanted a community space that reflected their cultural heritage - a place where townsfolk could practice traditional handcrafts and gastronomy, and interact with nature. The school responded to these needs by constructing a social and community space with a library and studio rooms. Families are involved in all school activities to encourage students to appreciate local traditions. Studio rooms are used for music and folklore and musical instruments, and there is a room for diaguita crafts where families and students work together to revive history with their hands. There is also an orchard for students, where they can learn how to grow fruit trees, walk around and read in a quiet and inspired environment. The colours used at the school are similar to those surrounding the school, and reflect the luminous environment and the quiet water of Puclaro river. A calle feria or street market is located on the high part of the new town.

The school is built on a soft slope with a view to the hills, the valley and the dam. The building is modern in terms of design and in materials, but some elements of the old building were retained. The first sector of the school, with studios and computer rooms (available also for the families), was built facing the community. The second zone is located on a higher terrace and includes the dining room, with a wide perspective and on a corner the preschool area that from the top participates with the rest of the students.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
The opinions and views of the community were of key importance from the beginning of the project.

Activity Areas: -

Project costs: CLP 230,582.00

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

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User perspectives (1)

“To rescue the elements of nature that were present for the old inhabitants of the valley was a priority”.
Architect

Images (5)

Drawings (3)

Building plan (Registration required)

Credit: MINEDUC
Cross-section (Registration required)
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Credit: MINEDUC
Location plan (Registration required)
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Credit: MINEDUC