diaz paunetto models adaptive reuse through the gelm annex
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc
all images courtesy of díaz paunetto arquitectos

 

 

 

the guarderia ecologica la mina (GELM) in corozal, puerto rico, is a campus containing several decrepit concrete structures left 20 years in abandon. upon the school’s need for additional classroom spaces, the board commissioned local practice díaz paunetto arquitectos to take the existing concrete mass and convert it into a functional and architecturally distinct annex.  the existing buiding consisted of a solid concrete lower level and CMU block second story covered by a collapsed wooden roof.  for ecological reasons, a total demolition was impossible and the building’s footprint was to remain the same, shaping the nature of the project into an exercise in adaptive reuse.

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perforated corten walls wrap the original building
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

 

 

 

the renewed structure contains a warehouse on the ground level to support the other surrounding buildings and a multifunctional hall above to be used for meetings, teacher training, and seminars, amongst other uses. the external shell was punctured for the installation of several large windows, most notably the projecting white glass cube at the corner extending views over the children’s play area. In addition to the views, this feature also opens the interior space and floods it with light to make it suitable for a wide range of activities. a new concrete roof was installed that wraps the entry staircase providing shade and shelter.

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

 

 

 

in order to finish the derelict facades, the architects wrapped the entire structure in a second corten skin perforated with long thin vertical penetrations that mirror the same lines and density of the adjacent bamboo forest. within the cutouts, colored glass panels are inserted to add a touch of color appropriate for the children’s preschool. this metallic membrane completely transforms the previous structure as well as provides shade on the concrete walls of the building, helping to reduce heat gain from direct sunlight.

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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(left) view of the projecting glass cube
(right) entry stairs to the second story covered by the extended roof
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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exterior and interior of corten membrane
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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second level
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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perforations project rectangular beams of light on the interior surfaces
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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open light-filled multipurpose space
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

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existing structure previous to renovation
image © díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc

 

 

 

drawings

 

 

project info:

 

name: gelm annex
location: corozal, puerto rico
date: 2012             
principal design architect: víctor díaz paunetto aia      
architects: díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc             
design team: víctor díaz paunetto aia; ariel santiago ait
colaborators: néstor lebrón ait, alberto de la cruz ait, jimmie vélez, danniely staback
consultants: roberto agramonte pe – structural; francisco mate pe – mechanical              
owner: puerto rican family institute, inc.               
total area: 2,764 sqft; 256.87 sqmts
photographs: díaz paunetto arquitectos, llc