The treehouse is the place of imagination where the idea of being in contact with nature and discovery is born and instills interest in learning from concepts aligning with school methodologies. Casa da Árvore is an elementary school project conceived by the design team of Contaminar Arquitetos in Leiria, Portugal. It is designed as a place where a child takes their first step towards developing contact with the world of architecture relating to Nature.
The project is conceptualized around nature and was initiated with the thought of connecting classrooms with the outer areas. The school complex is designed with large glazed windows and represents the classrooms as an extension of the exterior space. The concept is accentuated with more open spaces like patios and porches that let children enjoy and utilize the overall space. The patio furniture plays along in guiding the development of the whole structure.
Materiality that is close to nature has been a conscious approach for the Casa da Árvore project to abide by the design theme of the elementary school. Natural cork is used as a cladding material in the eaves which connects the user with nature. The concept of stereotomy is incorporated into the facade similar to the pieces arranged in a puzzle that creates an effect of rhythm and movement.
The concrete of the walls is treated in a specific way that reminds us of the roots of the trees. It reinforces the image of Casa da Árvore as a structure resting on the pavement in earth tones supported with inert materials. Ample green spaces are incorporated into the design that breaks the monotony and provides spots for children to connect with mother nature. Play areas with swings are planned for children to enjoy themselves along with learning at the school.
Like any other project by the firm Contaminar Arquitetos, this project Casa da Árvore also carves its own identity that is nature-oriented and keeps the users surrounded with greenery and natural materials.
Project Name: Elementary School – Casa da Árvore
Location: Leiria, Portugal
Total Area: 752,00 sqm
Firm Name: Contaminar Arquitetos
Design Team: Joel Esperança, Ruben Vaz, Eurico Sousa, Joaquim Duarte, Filipa Pimpão, Ana Carolina and Sara Fernandes
Image Credits: Fernando Guerra | FG+SG