Exterior Architecture / CSTD News / Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

A colorful display of Spanish tile

Custom-made tile played a key role in the success of the design for the Children Education Center and Children Innovation Center in Valencia, Spain, which combines aesthetics with practical needs

June 12, 2013
Trans

With its vibrant colors and unique circular-shaped buildings, the campus of the Children Education Center and Children Innovation Center in Valencia, Spain, is a playful and creative design conceived by Foursquare Arquitectos.  Each of the five buildings is clad in its own color of custom-made porcelain tile — manufactured by Tile of Spain-branded manufacturer Natucer — and designated for a specific age group of children.  But beyond the architectural aesthetic, the design team put a strong emphasis on making an interactive facility.

“The Children Education Center & Children Innovation Center building seeks a relationship with the children — integrating architecture as an emotional component to their education,” according to a design statement.  “It is used to increase outreach activities to encourage cultural awareness from childhood. The idea is to generate spaces and opportunities for creativity. The building encourages a transmission of sensations from both inside and out, creating different spaces that encourage exploration.”

Each of the five colored buildings has its own specific purpose.  The violet building is designed for infants 0 to 12 months and also houses breastfeeding facilities.  The pink structure is for toddlers from 1 to 2 years and the green building is for 2 to 3 years old.  Additionally, the red building accommodates a communal area, a gym, a multipurpose leisure room and a heated pool with saline water as well as space for three- to six-year-olds. The blue structure is reserved for offices.

Inspiration for color

The buildings are round to make them “softer,” since children will be running around, explained Project Architect Ana Garcia Sala.  “The colors are inspired by the world of children,” she said.  “They are all colorful.  We didn’t want anything too strong, like primary colors, because we didn’t want it too childish.”

The architect worked closely with M2 Distribucion of Valencia, Spain, to find just the right tiles for the project.  “We had to find the proper factory to make them,” explained Ramón Spaudo, of M2 Distribucion, the distributor for the project.  “There are five buildings and four shades of each color in each building.  It’s a very sunny area, so we had to get the right tones with the reflection.  It was all supervised by the architect.  We worked with her creativity.”

According to Spaudo, the architect worked with a Pantone color guide to select the shades.  Natucer would then make samples to show her.  “She adjusted the tones, and then they would meet again. It took about three meetings.  Natucer and I spoke the same language.  It was fun.”

Monitoring the production process

The customized porcelain tiles were a combination of straight pieces — measuring 5.3 x 21.6 inches — and curved pieces — measuring 5.3 inches with a curvature of 33.5 inches — to allow for inside and outside curve which are attached to tracks with aluminum staples in slots in the tiles which are made in situ. The tracks are placed by a sandwiched panel of aluminum and mineral wool supported by a metallic substructure.

To achieve the correct curvature of the tiles, Natucer carefully monitored the production process.  The ceramic glazed porcelain was obtained by extrusion and single-fire baking at 1,195 degrees Celsius.  The glazes used are for high temperature and have been colored with dispersible pigments in order to obtain the desired hues and colors — giving each piece greater depth.

Spaudo said that Natucer delivered the tiles in 70 days from the start of the process. Conception on the project began in 2006, and the school opened for its first classes in January 2013.  It was the design intent that this facility would serve as a model for future schools. 

Recently, the project received a Coverings Installation & Design Award in the International Design category.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Stone World 

Recent Articles by Jennifer Adams

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.

THE MAGAZINE

Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

CSTD_Spring2014_Cover.jpg

2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How_To_Polish_&_Restore_Mar.gif
How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!

  

Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out stoneindustryeducation.com to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook logo Twitter  YouTube