The Luís de Freitas Branco School is located in a suburban area, over a territory once occupied by agricultural fields and industrial facilities, overlap now by residential buildings,highways and shopping malls.
The school, which opened in the 70s, was originally organized around small prefabricated pavilions, implanted in a steeply sloping terrain.
Over the times, with the consolidation of the urban territory, the school’s perimeter was being surrounded by buildings; nullifying their relationship with the main thoroughfares. The access and internal circulation were difficult, and the school pavilions found to be obsoleted.
The project takes advantage of part of the existing pavilions – that are upgraded, to settle the classrooms -, reorganizing all the functional structure of the school complex around two large outdoor spaces: the Courtyard and the Playground. The limits of both plazas are defined by two new buildings – the Central Building and the Educational Building – which set internal and external links for the school.
The circulation areas are considered central spaces to the school, providing areas to study, to meet, to eat or to play. The main entrance of the complex is redrawn in order to reestablish the urban relationship between the school complex and the village of Paço d’ Arcos.
After the completion of the building, there is a remarkable improvement of the academic results, an exponential increase in the student community, and the use of the School by the surrounding community.