SALAMANCA, Spain—It’s certifiable I watched too much scary television programming as a child because this mirrored building brings to mind all the horrors of dizzying and anxiety inducing carnival funhouse mirrors. Luckily for these kids, it’s actually something significantly less sinister, their school!
Spanish studio ABLM Arquitectos used mirrored panels on this 28,000-square-foot building to give the illusion of a nearly invisible upper floor. In contrast, jovial and brightly colored vertically arranged ceramic tiles embellish the ground floor’s facade, Dezeen adds.
While the upper storey of the school is clad in mirrored panels of composite aluminium to reflect the surroundings and visually reduce the scale of the building, a facade clad in brightly coloured ceramics surrounds the playgrounds at ground level.
The underside of canopy that extends out to shelter the entrance is covered in the same mirrored cladding, reflecting the tiled pattern onto the ceiling.
Seven colors of tile were selected for the project. Chosen by Spanish ceramicist Toni Cumella—ranging from pink to maroon and green—are intended to symbolize the individuality of every boy and girl attending the school.
Architects Arturo Blanco and Laura Martínez explains their design concept is a tangible reflection of the area’s increasingly industrialized transformation, which they say has “partly disfigured the scale and transformed the material landscape conditions.” Even so, for the students, the mirrors are a haven for wonder and introspection.
“The almost invisible school proposes a reflection on the domestic scale of this kind of infrastructures, where the little ones must find spaces that they can catch, and places with which they can dream.”
Inside, Dezeen adds, translucent walls and pale flooring is offset by areas of strong turquoise and red wall panelling.
Do you love or loathe this architecture from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.