The students of Santa Elena de Piedritas get to know the design for their future school, at a scale of 1-50!
While construction is on the verge of breaking ground, children from this school in the rural town of Talara, Peru, have been busy for the past five weeks making a scale architectural model of the project. The design was developed by Peruvian architects Taller Cotidano based on extensive community consultation, and at this stage the students are rendering the designs to get familiar with the project, feel comfortable with it and make the most of the new facilities.
Started in 2003 thanks to a donation from Endesa, Santa Elena de Piedritas is the only school in Talara. Faced with an increasing student population and buildings deteriorating due to the windy, arid conditions, the school is now in critical need of improved facilities. Since September 2012 Architecture for Humanity and the Enel Cuore foundation have been on a project that will provide four new classrooms, toilets and a canteen, and will create comfortable outdoor spaces for gathering and play that are currently missing in this remote community.
Cracking the whip in the workshop is Jesus Porras, Architecture for Humanity's Design Fellow in Talara. Since his arrival in January, Jesus has been not only getting to know the school and the community, but also adding value to the design-build process by investigating recycled materials and construction techniques. Thanks to his efforts the shade structure that ties the individual classroom buildings together will now be built with lightweight, locally grown cane and structural steel salvaged from a nearby waste yard, thereby reducing the building’s environmental and economic footprint.
Those interested in the project should stay tuned for the next extra-curricular activity in Talara: a prototype DIY wind turbine on the school grounds! Photos of the model-making fun are below: