San Sebastian elementary school is a private educational institution supported by public funding, founded in 1997. It was initially located in the historical centre of Melipilla, a midsize agricultural town approximately 80km from Santiago, capital city of Chile. After 10 years of activity, it has become one of the highest ranked schools in the area, with an increased number of students that reached a situation that made its facilities obsolete and undersized. After renting different locations next to the existing building in order to expand according to its needs, operative problems appeared immediately, so the owner looked for a new and better location within the urban boundaries.
The 7.881m2 site chosen is on the east end of the town, facing a privileged view of the Chilean central valley and the Andes Mountains. Our client had a clear Idea of the functioning scheme for his needs based on an "s" shaped configuration that was the basis for the architectural proposal. Openings and windows frame the natural view and respond according to sun orientation. Based on this principle, classrooms face east and south, avoiding direct sunlight, while west and north façades are protected by circulation and a metallic screen surface that acts as a filter. 
The plan configuration allows for the existence of two patios with different functions: a public one,  expressed by a prefab concrete floor facing the valley; and the other, more intimate one, expressed by a grass surface, based on the landscape scheme of central valley historical house patios. The two floor height underlines the dominant horizontality of the landscape. The 7,17m regular bay of the concrete building extends across the site breaking in corners and adapting the façade criteria as a result.  One of the main restraints of the project was the cost, which finally reached U$D 600/m2.

Architects: Albert Tidy + Ian Tidy + Cecilia Aldunate 
Structural Engineer: Claudio Hinojosa
Construction:   Roessan LTDA.
Location: Melipilla. Santiago, Chile.
Surface area: 3.953 m2  Site
Surface area: 7.881 m2  
Main materials: Concrete, stucco.
Project date: 2006
Construction date: 2007
Cost:   U$D 634 / M2