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Catch Light Classrooms

Type: Education
Year: 2011
Location: Santa Matilde School, Til Til, Metropolitan region
Area: 135 m2
Collaborator architects: Javier Lorenzo and Gonzalo Arteche
Photographer: Sergio Pirrone
Award: Nominee in National Sample, Architecture Biennale, Chile, 2012

With donation of the employees of Holcim (a cement and aggregates manufacturer) and the company Cementos Polpaico, this project was constructed for the victims of the earthquake of February 27, 2010 in Chile. It was requested that we incorporate the five target issues for sustainable construction defined by Holcim Foundation (for more information visit

1- Quantum change and transferability: a pre-fabricated system was used, which was fast (due to the emergency) and could be easily replicated in other regions of Chile.

2-Social equity: the project was carried out for a school of an under-resourced area, in an emergency situation due to the natural disaster.

3- Ecological quality and energy conservation: the project incorporated sustainable passive strategies, such as double height; ventilated skin on walls and ceiling; lucarna thermopanel for luminosity and chimney effect; SIP panels in walls and ceilings; solar control blinds managed by students.

4- Economic: it was sought to generate comfort for the students and the construction methods assure durability of the materials.

5- Contextual and aesthetic impact: playful and stimulating colors were used for the exterior.

The design places emphasis on incorporating simple, sustainable construction techniques that improve the interior air quality, diminish humidity, increase light quality, and improve temperature maintenance. Rebuilding Chile in a better and more sustainable way is a key issue and paramount to our daily work.