La Mar Bella school in Barcelona
SUMO arquitectes 

La Mar Bella school in Barcelona

SUMO arquitectes 


The Catalan firm SUMO arquitectes – Marc Camallonga, Jordi Pagès, Pasqual Bendicho – renovated and enlarged this school in Barcelona, organized in three volumes and combining concrete and wood. The 1950s building has undergone a thorough revamp. The second volume is a new-build connected at one end to the original, forming an L to create a playground courtyard. The third one, open and freestanding, is linked to the rest by a bridge over the street.

The new annex presents a structural bay with modules of four pillars measuring 7.40 x 7.85 meters, and slabs of reinforced concrete. The concrete structure is left as is, harnessing its thermal inertia. The enclosure is a ventilated facade system with a totally industrialized light inner layer and high thermal properties. On the first floor and both sides of the building are double-height overhanging terraces that act as shade-houses creating a transition between interior and exterior. Incorporating photovoltaic panels, the flat roof is an additional playground for the schoolchildren.

Finally, the building that faces the square has a frame of beams and slabs of laminated timber. Two large walls of reinforced concrete hold up the structure and generate a huge cantilever over the square. Laminated pinewood beams with 120-centimeter edges span a distance of 17 meters, giving rise to various levels. The dry construction system lessens execution deadlines.