Jardim Maria Helena III is a Sao Paulo State School, located in the rural area of Barueri, a town in the Greater Sao Paulo metropolitan region. It provides Elementary, Middle and High education to approximately 525 students. The 2,41 acre lot where the 3.391 sqm school is located is a flat terrain surrounded by hills covered by the native Atlantic Forest. Taking these two basic features into consideration – the surrounding nature and the flatness of the lot – the project consists of two parallel two-storey buildings erected longitudinally across the flat terrain, with a large empty central space between them that opens on both sides to the surrounding hilly landscape. The two parallel buildings house 15 classrooms, a lecture hall, a media screening room, a multiple-use room and others rooms destined for the school program. The buildings have surrounding hallways on the upper floor that open to the outside and that also shelter the lower floor from the sun and rain. The school patio and covered sport courts are located in this central space between the buildings, featuring double-height ceilings and in addition to the students, is also used by the local population when the school is not operational, particularly on the weekends. Some of the most striking features of this project are the bridge that connects both buildings on the upper floors, in addition to the stairway and a ramp sitting across from each other and that provide access from the internal patio and courts to the upper floor.
The construction consists of prefabricated structural concrete and concrete blocks, as defined by the Client. The concrete blocks are laid in two manners: - in a conventional manner, with plaster and painted over, as can be seen on the north and south external walls, painted in red, and internal walls, painted in yellow; - in a horizontal position, as brise-soleil on the lower floor, using the hollow concrete block to provide cross ventilation through the buildings, as can be seen on the north, south, west and east external walls. The roofing in the patio and courts have openings that provide ventilation and zenithal lightning.
A chalkboard-paint by artist Carla Zaccagnini decorates the internal walls of the sport courts and serves a number of purposes, such as writing scores of games as well as any other activities by the students and teachers.