The academic institution EBC presented the new location of its Campus Guadalajara on the old Kodak Premises, where a compound of three mega blocks was previously built. The school was to be located on the first four floors of the northeast block: a building covered with glass, and a vertical parasol front.
The main goal was to create an innovative space where the relationship between the classroom, workshops, public areas, and private rooms could offer better lighting, communication, and didactic-social stimuli during the development of the project.
The original structure of the building presented a great challenge, for the stacked floors limited communication between the different levels; the bottom floor was the only space where users could connect with each other. The search for student identity and spaces that would incite dialogue was imposed by the nature of a structure such as this one.
To solve the problem, we proposed to connect the four floors. In order to achieve this we punctured the tiles on their central axis. By doing so we created a space that posed four different solutions to the original problem: intervisual communications, interspacial relations, public circulation, and common areas in every level.
The stairs played a leading role in the project. When the stairs reach their central axis, each step becomes a bench, and the lower area of the ramp transforms into an auditorium. The importance of the stairs is reflected on the interior and exterior access routes of the bottom floor, stimulating the notion of the space as a semi-public interior/exterior part of the project. From the front, the stairs can assimilate the form of the “EBC” Logo.
Our spatial solution makes the best of the building's facade by transforming it into a secondary access route to the polycarbonate covered classrooms. This material filters light in a subtle manner, and the paint on the walls allows students and teachers to write on them.
For this institution, we were looking for a sober quality. We avoided the large areas of recessed lighting fixture on the ceiling. Instead, we tried on a flagstone installation, Oxford-granite-covered floors, and white painted walls. The stairs were covered with wood to bring out the importance they gave, making them stand out for their contrast with the facade.