The Aulas Building is located in front of the access park at Campus San Joaquín of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
At the time of projecting the building, it was very important the environment in which it was going to be located. The extensive green areas and trees of great foliage should be part of the project. For this reason, the project was placed parallel to the park and facing access with an open facade.
To achieve the lightness of the north facade and thus the integration with the park, the structuring of the building was very relevant in the development of the project.
The pillars should be of small section and non-orthogonal lines so that they resemble the environment and simulate being trunks that supported the building. For this reason, the structure was composed of a braced wall to the south and concrete pillars of greater section to the north. The latter were moved away from the perimeter, to make it seem that all the charges to the north were taken by the steel pillars.
The floor plans are organized from a large corridor to the north and precincts that are set back from the facade to allow a panoramic view through their corridors. On the first floor were located the public programs, like the cafeteria and the study hall. On the upper floors there are allthe classrooms and at the underground level there are 3 auditoriums.
In terms of energy efficiency the eaves that make up the corridors towards the north façade provide a very appropriate solar protection for the latitude of the central Chile valley.
The reinforced concrete wall of 40 centimeters thick of the south façade does not contemplate thermal insulation, in such a way that with its important thermal inertia it is able to dissipate the heat that is generated by the use inside the classrooms.
The building has an enclosed list of materials led by simplicity and austerity.
The major material is the architectural concrete represented mainly in walls, columns, slabs and beams, taking a “natural” strand on their design. Although the steel is less dominant, is preponderant in the north façade.
The construction terminations include, among others, crystal surfaces (picture windows), porcellanato flooring and the most important, 3-inch pine plank coating. This material plays a paramount importance in acoustic comfort with absorption and reflective panels, that surround sound by wrapping the enclosure (ceiling and partitions).
Finally, the basement lobby roof that accede the auditoriums, was designed with decorative stones where you can see an attractive counterpoint with the south façade architecture concrete walls.