Jean Mermoz School

Guillermo Hevia | Nicolás Urzúa Soler

Architects: Guillermo Hevia García + Nicolás Urzúa Soler
Location: Curicó, VII Región del Maule, Chile
Client: Corporación Educacional Alianza Francesa
Project year: 2011
Construction year: 2012
Time of construction: 75 days
Plot surface area: 34800 sqm
Total floor Area: Remodel: 1450 sqm + New Pavilion: 210 sqm
Photography: Nicolás Saieh

The project consists of the remodel of an existing school and the construction of new programs, with the goal of modernizing its infrastructure and giving it a new face.
The existing school is a set of pavilions with a gable roof, where the main characteristic are the courtyards that are formed in between, the building heights, and the broad eaves.

The project will have 3 scales of intervention based on different elements.

The first aims to organize the school around the 4 courtyards, outlining them as 4 fundamental and different moments in the design. There will be 4 different areas, each with its own atmosphere, according to its users and their activities: playground equipment, a sports field for the younger children, common conversation spaces for older kids, and an open square.

The second scale has to do with the pavilions themselves. It uses 2 basic elements: a new enclosure built from continuous panels of perforated metal (where the design is based on French motifs) and the insertion of skylights in the ceilings to provide the rooms with new spaces and colors, natural light and ventilation, while giving the school a brand new appearance.

The third scale is rooted in the elements that are related to the human body and proximity. A new system of access to classrooms, using doors marked with colors and graphic designs, shutters in front of the windows to create privacy in the rooms without losing views or light, and new colored floors to generate warmth and differentiation in the interior.

Site plans



The new construction is a pavilion for indoor activities and games. The pavilion is defined by its structure: an easy to mount bridge beam that opens onto the playground.
The interior is lined with wood to form a bench that runs from side to side, generating warmth and a new scale for the children.

Budget: Remodel: 290 US$/sqm + New Pavilion: 590 US$/sqm
Structural engineering: ALPA Ingeniería (Ing. Alfonso Pacheco)
Construction: Luis Farías
Plumbing: Luis Farías
Electrical engineering: Luis Farías
Construction system - structure: Masonry walls, Steel structure, Wood trusses
Exterior finishes: Hunter Douglas CD 500SL perforated panel, Laminated glass (8 mm.)
Roofing: Hunter Douglas CD 500SL panel
Interior finishes: Armstrong Rave vinyl floor, Plasterboard plates enamel white paint to water, Planed pine wood (1"x3")