Badia i Margarit Institute / GATPA

Architects: GATPA
Area: 33088 ft²
Year: 2021
Photographs: José Hévia
Architects In Charge: Alex Gallego Urbano, Jordi Adell Roig, David Tapias Monné, Gerard Puig Freixas
Collaborating Architects: Julia Nabona, Ricard Pau
Architect Bim Manager: Ricard Pau
Builder: Grup Mas, Serviobres Queralt
Structural Engineer: Other Structures Sl
Facilities Engineer: Joan Gonzalez Gou
Technical Advice: Miguel Angel Martinez (SGS)
City: Igualada
Country: Spain

In 2021, a strategic architectural expansion was designed by GATPA for a school located in Igualada, Spain, addressing the need for increased high school facilities and repairs to existing structures. The expansion project, undertaken after winning a public architectural competition, harnesses the site’s challenging geography—a narrow land stretch with a significant slope—optimally positioning the new building for solar access while integrating it seamlessly with the existing school structure. The design incorporates advanced materials such as Termoarcilla walls and prefabricated concrete, enhancing functional and environmental efficiency.

Badia i margarit institute / gatpa

Igualada, a city known for its rich industrial past and notable residents like Enric Miralles, is now the site of a significant educational expansion. The city’s historical context, including its thriving 19th-century textile industry and the Anoia River’s influence, sets a poignant backdrop for this architectural project.

GATPA has undertaken the expansion of a local school, focusing on its high school section. The necessity for expansion and repair of the existing facilities prompted the Catalan government to initiate a two-phase architectural competition, which GATPA successfully secured.

The designated area for the new building is a slender plot adjacent to the existing gymnasium. This plot, with its east-west orientation, poses unique challenges and opportunities in connecting the new structure to the old. The old school’s traditional construction, characterized by cast concrete and brick walls partially clad in green tiles, contrasts with the new design proposals.

The architects designed a long, narrow rectangular prism aligned with the public square to the west. This orientation maximizes playground space to the east and respects the existing topography and school infrastructure. The decision to use prefabricated concrete, produced just 70 kilometers away, supports local industry and ensures a coherent architectural language. The new structure’s termoarcilla walls are designed to create a breathable envelope, responding to varying needs for ventilation and light based on orientation and internal functions.

Badia i margarit institute / gatpa

Central to the design are two courtyards that optimize sunlight for the classrooms, improving the learning environment. Above, a light steel structure forms a bridge connecting the new high school with the refurbished gymnasium and the existing school. This bridging element not only unites the old and new aspects of the campus but also establishes a new main entrance under an expansive porch, redefining access to the school and integrating it more fully with its surroundings.

By preserving an old pathway from the river and integrating it into the school’s landscape, the project respects and revitalizes the historical and environmental context of its location. The careful placement and thoughtful design of the new building ensure that it serves as a modern educational facility while honoring the legacy of its setting.

Badia i margarit institute / gatpa
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Avinguda de Montserrat, 40, 08700 Igualada, Barcelona, Spain

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