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Learning in the Open Air: Studio Building by Jorge Losada

Piura is one of Peru’s largest cities. It is located in the north of the country, which is characterized by flat, arid land. A single green strip runs along the Piura river. Around the campus, the university has had more than 150 hectares planted with algarrobo trees. Here in this unique climate and landscape, an architectural solution was needed for a studio building.

As a constructive shell for the studio, the architects developed a steel construction crowned with three barrel-shaped roof sections that rise up to nine metres high. These roof sections, oriented north-south, are open on both sides and can catch any wind coming from the south. This natural air circulation helps control the temperature inside the building, which can reach 30 degrees. On both sides of the studio, the roof juts four metres, protecting the work areas from direct sunlight. Near the equator, the sun can shine from the north as well as from the south.

Underneath the large roof, a suspended ceiling delimits the studio area, which measures 374 m². There is enough space here for 120 workstations, all of which offer an unobstructed view over the surrounding algarrobo trees. Instead of walls, there is a chain-link fence to keep wild animals from finding their way in. Over the next few years, a planted area will be created under the jutting roof to provide protection from sand and dust. 

The studio building in Piura is a simple yet functional approach to using simple materials to address the prevailing conditions. Without resorting to high-tech solutions, but rather relying on constructive and architectural methods, a space is now available that offers everything the students need for their work: protection from the sun, rain and animals, all without affecting the feeling of being outside.

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