Secondary School in Santa Elena

Location: Santa Elena, Pangoa (Peru) – 2015
Cost: 185,000 USD
Built area: 700 m2
Development and execution: Asociación Semillas para el Desarrollo Sostenible
Partners: Volcafe Speciality Peru (VSP) Generaciones
Funding: Costa Foundation
Architecture: Marta Maccaglia, Paulo Afonso + Ignacio Bosch, Borja Bosch
Collaborators: Gonzalo Diaz Arrieta
Engineering: Manuel Cárdenas Aspajo
Construction: Constructor Javier Garcia Paucar, Carpintería Martinez, community
Photography: Marta Maccaglia, Piers Blake

Construction takes place in the community of Santa Elena, in the rural Selva Central region of Peru. The project started with research to determine the community’s strengths and weaknesses, and to discuss the hopes and wishes of its citizens. The citizens expressed their desire to rebuild their future and put behind them a painful past of political abandonment and considerable suffering due to terrorism. Ultimately, education has been the most effective tool for collective growth in the community of Santa Elena.

The school accommodates 200 students, and gives young people in this rural area the opportunity to continue secondary level studies. It is strategically located close to several population centres, making it accessible for the greatest possible number of students.

The infrastructure consists of a compact volume with a large sports yard. The construction includes covered “open” spaces, a double-height central hall, and a corridor along the axis of the infrastructure connecting the classrooms to the administrative block. All spaces “between the classrooms,” such as laboratories and the library, were promoted as “open spaces,” for public use.

The architectural proposal was tailored to the geographical, morphological, and climatic conditions of the area, and to the cultural and social conditions of the community. In most cases, the school in a rural community serves not only as a place to study, but also as a place for recreation and one where anyone in the community can get together. Santa Elena is another example of a village where a school provides the only real “public” infrastructure.

Más información: Domus Web