Driven by the spiritual disciplines of the client’s educational concept, salagnac arquitectos designs its waldorf school ‘casa de las estrellas’ along the shores of costa rica. The school seeks to provide an education that encourages children to become free human beings, and to ‘develop spiritual identity carried from the preceding spiritual existence’ as beings of body, soul, and spirit in this life. Taking with respect for this concept, the design team works to capture through architecture the spiritual ideals of waldorf education in a tangible way. Facing a white sand beach and surrounded by tropical forests, the school is organized with an elongated, centralized hall punctuated by smaller classroom modules.
Salagnac Arquitectos adapts the architecture of the waldorf school to the coastal site, with minimal impact and harmonious dialogue with its natural environment. The elongated hall, housing classrooms and administration programming, is oriented in parallel to the sea to take advantage of the natural breeze, morning light, and adaptation to the topography. The introduction of separate classroom modules offer an element of fluidity towards the outside from the built spaces, also based on the waldorf educational concept. The design team separates these modules, programmed as kindergarten and pre-K classrooms, to emphasize the different academic spaces according to the needs of the different cycles or educational groups.
In the design of the Waldorf School, salagnac arquitectos considers the distinct environments in which children of different ages best develop. In the preschool dynamic, outdoor recess time alternates with the activities inside the educational space, the classroom imitates a home, with simple tools and toys made from natural materials that lend to imaginative play. Kindergarten and pre-K classroom modules are organized in plan as a snail-like spiral that opens at its entrance and closes gradually toward the center. Only to describe this as a true gem by the white sand beach of Costa Rica.