San Juan, P.R.
Escuela University Gardens
This urban lot (of approximately 3.7 cuerdas) is located in a dense forest in the financial district of Hato Rey, San Juan. The school was inaugurated in 1976, closed in May of 2003 and demolished in 2004. There is an immediate neighborhood of single family housing. The NotreDame Street, main way of the capital sector of University Gardens, borders the lot on the east. The Piñero/Central Avenue, a main artery of intense traffic and of commercial character, is two (2) blocks from the area. The dense forest, of more than one hundred twenty-five (125) trees that surround the existing structure, is an invaluable attraction to the atmosphere of the school and its neighborhood. The canopy of the treetops and their exposed roots limit the location of the new school’s established parameters.
The great challenge for this project design involved the manipulation of the general plan in order to save the greatest quantity of trees . The school, with 600 students, is divided into several interconnected buildings, one of which is three (3) stories high. The existing basketball court ceiling will be redesigned. The area for the new facilities will be of approximately ninety thousand square-feet (90,000 ft2), in addition to parking lots for sixty (60) vehicles. Among other spaces, the project includes Academic Halls, Science Laboratories, Special Classrooms, Library, Dining room & Kitchen, and Administration Areas.