GELM Annex

GELM Annex

Architect
Diaz-Paunetto Architects
Location
Puerto Rico
Category
Primary Schools

GELM Annex

Diaz-Paunetto Architects as Architects

Abstract “This project aspires to be an example of how the recycling of existing structures can potentially serve as a vehicle for a sustainable development of our built environment. The challenges of demonstrating how adaptive reuse could be seen as a new model for redevelopment was intertwined with the challenges of a designer also working as the builder with an extremely limited budget and time for the execution of this project. GELM Annex is a second commission of the joint Early Head Start and Pre-School Program of GuarderiaEcologica La Mina (GELM). The design solution for the rehabilitation of this existing structure dating back to the 1960’s and abandoned since the 1980’s had to strive for simplicity, uniformity and longevity. To this effect a corten steel skin perforated in a pattern derived from the abundant and extensive bamboo hedges that surround the site was designed in an effort to establish a dialogue with the immediate natural context. The skin becomes a sunscreen and jointly with the colored glass panels, introduced in reference to the existing pre-school the building serves, help bathe the interior space with filtered and colored light.”


GELM Annex


The project involves a second Commission at GuarderiaEcologica La Mina (GELM). Like the first intervention, the structure was abandoned for over 20 years, and was part of a set of buildings dedicated to vocational instruction and facilities for the Volunteer Corps. The building was used for recreation and sports education on the first floor and cosmetology in the second. The structure is a typical pre-designed concrete structure used by the Department of Education as a module for school expansions since the 1960s, with a second floor built out of concrete block walls and a wooden ceiling that we found totally collapsed upon arrival at the site. Given the projects ecological nature,the building footprint was to remain unchanged and the option of totaldemolition, although tempting, was immediately discarded with rehabilitation as the only viable choice.


The structure would now serve as a multipurpose hall where meetings could be heldby parents, seminars and trainings for teachers, among other uses, as well as a warehouse on the first floor to serve as a support to other schools in the area belonging to the client.


The building presented some challenges in terms of cost and time given the 6 months granted forthis design build award, concept under which the Commission was requested. In design terms, the second floor had the potential of having a visual command of the original single level pre-schooland the children's recreational area. A concrete slab roof was added which extendedto the existing staircaseasa shelter from rain and sun, and a projected glass volume was placed facing the playing area and the existing massive bamboo. Formally, this volume would act as display or showcase for the pre-school, provoking different readings from users, providing enjoyable views, and at the same time allowing light to enter the space. The challenge of harmonizing the rest of the structure bordered on its demolition, so we decided to cover the building in a skin of Corten Steel, a material of high durability and low maintenance, perforated in a pattern allusiveto the bamboo treesnext to the building. The skin filters the light entering the space, while at the same time establishing a dialogue with the environment. Colored glass strips are incorporated in the enclosure skin, in reference to the colors used in the pre-school, allowing colored light to bathe the interior space.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand
25 May 2022 News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand

In Hangzhou, China, the Golong Wormhole by PINES ARCH is an experimental space for events and exhibi... More

Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape
25 May 2022 News
Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape

In the Flemish Ardennses, Villa RS by JUMA Architects is situated in a picturesque landscape with ch... More

Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context
24 May 2022 News
Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context

In the small Mallorca town of Llubi, this new kindergarten by Aixopluc Architects is located on a pe... More

25 best architecture firms in Mexico City
23 May 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Mexico City

Mexico City is home to a number of outstanding, epoch-defining architectural firms. Its contemporary... More

New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden
22 May 2022 News
New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden

In Tilburg, NL, the new Nardinc wing of the Singer Museum by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten houses th... More

Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople
22 May 2022 News
Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople

Located in Bani Jamrah, Bahrain, the Al Naseej Factory by Leopold Banchini is a textile weaving faci... More

Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years
20 May 2022 News
Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years

The neoclassical building was built between 1850 and 1855 to a design by Johannes van Maurik as a na... More

82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects
20 May 2022 News
82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects

In addition to restoring the original Museum Arnhem building, complete with characteristic historic... More