Geometric Landscape


The playground of the San Antonio School in Durango, Spain, is designed by Ele Arkitektura. The office describes the project as follows:

The commission carried out by San Antonio school has consisted of renovating the main façade of the center, an outdoor playground and access for children between 3-6 years old and finally a cloister / interior playground for children between 0-3 years. The three interventions are related through pure geometries, unifying the identity of the entire space through elements easily understandable by children.

Outdoor Playground
One of the main ideas of the project focuses on relating the courtyard to its surroundings, while opening a window to the street that allows passers-by observe and access to the center. On the other hand, the designed perimeter closure, unifies the entire complex and opens to the surrounding nature.

This metal closure articulates each of the interventions carried out in the courtyard, adapting to the needs of each area. Starting from the street access, it works as a permeable closure to the view, then it becomes a thick wall against the existing party wall along the entire first access section. Introducing geometric volumes into the metal grid, which generate different paths between them, the transit area becomes a place for gross motor game. These volumes create shelter, meeting, passage and play areas. Finally, the closure leads you to the wooden platform area, which is a reflection of the geometrization of nature. The different scenarios designed to encourage children interaction are adapted to their scale, creating places as: the mountain, the cave, the beach...

The Cloister
The intervention in the 18x18 meters long cloister with covered corridors on two of its facades, had two clear objectives. On one side, to fill the high gap between the patio and the two corridors, to create a single diaphanous area and, on the other, to cover the patio for a more rewarding, useful and multifunctional space.

The new roof, is integrated into the patio in an almost immaterial way, thanks to the transparency of the material. This cover significantly expands the useful space on rainy days while allows natural light to enter.

Taking advantage of the existing 40 cm elevation change, a wooden platform has been built, where circular depressions are created to house different uses for the little ones.

The Facade
All non-essential elements have been removed from the façade in order to create a new profile that would unify all the different existing volumes. Special emphasis has been placed on creating a relationship between the street and the exterior playground, thanks to the visual permeability of the access.

Previous Situation
Outdoor Playground
Outdoor Playground
The Cloister