Cristobal Rojas School of Visual Arts, Caracas, Venevuela

Design, production and project administration of a 250,000 SF new National Visual Arts School Building in Caracas, Venezuela for the Ministry of Urban Development, by Hernandez/Tenreiro/Urbina/Shishido Arquitectos. The program requirement included studios, classrooms and lecture rooms for the fine arts and applied arts, administrative offices, a cafeteria, living accommodations for visiting artists and a 500-seats auditorium. Larger studios such as painting, sculpture and metalwork are placed in open multi-story settings, while balcony levels are used for smaller studios such as pottery, drawings and graphic arts as well as for offices and individual workshops. The reinforced concrete two-way waffle slab system with 1.8-meter module permitted much flexibility to the space planning. This both horizontal and vertical open planning allowed the natural ventilation throughout the building except where mechanical air-condition is required such as the administrative offices and living quarters. Horizontally installed precast concrete panels shade studio spaces giving indirect natural light and ventilation.

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