Espinet Ubach Arquitectes have designed the kindergarten Xiroi, which recently opened in Barcelona. It is a mutant building in a unique location, on a strange and meager site. The shape of the site is an irregular triangle, and the shape of the building is perceived from the outside in a layered condition. In the interior, the school's closed volume provides the different functions on three floors (which is unusual in these facilities) served by another three areas for the children to play in. On the ground floor there is a garden facing the street, on the first floor there is a multipurpose room and on the second floor there is a terrace for outdoor play. All of these spaces, protected from the exterior, must remain isolated from direct views and have a high security level.
From the outside, multi-coulored, micro-perforated plates blend with the vegetation of a future park while maintaining the building's coherence. Thus, the triangular polyhedron accepts the irregular limits of the site, follows the functionality of its interior use and puts an accent on the urban perspectives toward the small site. The colored plate allows this building to change and mutate throughout the day, since its transparencies and visual games generate surprising, unexpected effects. Different effects of light on the façade throughout the day according to the time of the day causes the school to blend in different ways with its surroundings, either shining, turning opaque, or opening up with transparencies.
Colour is concentrated in the perforated skin of exterior. The green, ochre and brown shades, extracted from the surrounding vegetation, are combined with the trees and vegetation from the park. In the interior, colour comes from the children and their activities. Their backpacks, toys and crafts paint the white classrooms with color. The only distinctive element is the stairway that connects the three floors, covered with highly resistant yellow boards.
Espinet Ubach Arquitectes: Xiroi Kindergarten, Barcelona, Spain
Architects: ESPINET/UBACH Arquitectes i associats, S.L.P.
Team: Berta Grau, Ana Stakic, Josep Mª Navarrete
Structures: AREA 5
Facilities Provider: PAMIAS
Quantity Surveyor: Enric Aguilera
Graphics Advisory: Toni Miserachs
Façade: Muntatges: PIDEMUNT
Furniture Installation: Consorci d'Educació de Barcelona