Esdir / Nerea Illana + Guillermo
With the collaboration of Escuela Superior de Diseño de La Rioja
How to change an entrance? How to create a new form of access that is an experience in itself? How to turn the school into an active space for the city as well? These are the questions we ask ourselves when faced with such a monumental building as the Escuela Superior de Diseño de La Rioja. How to connect it to the city and how to make its gardens a living and public space?
This, together with the need for new semi-outdoor spaces after the pandemic situation we have experienced, has led us to the recovery and use of these gardens as intermediate spaces. Spaces that serve as a link between the city and the school and that change the form of access and the relationship between students and citizens.
We took the main entrance staircase as a reference to transform it and extend from it a platform that crosses the garden reaching Paseo de Dax. This creates a new route to go in and out of the school that takes you across the garden, which was previously practically unusable. This route becomes a living space, i.e. an intermediate space between school and city, between students and citizens and between inside and outside.
The intention is to enhance the value of the outdoor spaces, covered or not, connected to the interior, which we have appreciated during the confinement.
The access platform to the school is also a reinforced access to the undervalued gardens. From the platform, one descends by a sort of steps to the lawn, making the installation itself the place to be. Likewise, this intermediate space is reinforced with a roof that comes out of the school and hooks onto the existing trees. In this way, this section is understood as a habitable and interactive space, giving the pupils an outdoor space that was previously reduced to the stairs. A place for recreation and meeting in free time, which we believe is something that is lacking in the school.
Therefore, this place is conceived as a multidisciplinary space where students from the 4 specialities can share. It is intended that the platform can be used as a fashion catwalk, the lights and shadows of the roof and the colour of the stands as a photographic space, which with certain elements such as a project can be used as a cinema or project presentation area. An area that can also be accessed by people from outside the school and they can see the life inside it.