Cruzeiro School

rio de janeiro, rj, brazil


Distinction prize at the VI São Paulo International Architecture Biennial, 2nd prize at Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction Latin American, Procel/Eletrobrás Energetic Efficiency Prize, IAB/RJ Prize


Architecture: Celio Diniz, Eduardo Canellas, Eduardo Dezouzart, Tiago Gualda and Michael Laar

Designed to attend students aged 12 to 17, the new Cruzeiro School facilities are comprised of an access/administration block, two classroom wings, a laboratory centre, a library and an auditorium. The approximately 11.000m² complex will be used by 1.200 new students, increasing the capacity of the existing campus in 100%. The complex represents a bio-climatic architecture model, based in natural ventilation and illumination concepts that will considerably reduce electric energy expenses, possibly allowing an energetically autonomous school in a near future. Modern architecture principles were adapted to the contemporary language of the buildings. Modern references such as brise-soleil protected façades, pilotis and gardened terraces are combined with LEED concepts to provide comfortable and pleasant spaces. A central multi-levelled garden, following the terrain profile, separates the two classroom wings, connected between them by an administration block on the lower level and by the school library on the upper level. This garden plays a crucial role in the composition, given the fact that it acts both as a micro-climate thermal regulator and a gathering and contemplative space. The group of gardens and buildings act as a display to the school's environmental teaching: the students learn to value the natural ambient surrounding the buildings through the integration between internal and external spaces. They learn about bio-climatic concepts by their own experience, verifying its importance and applicability.