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Plan maestro Colegio Montessori

Emerson Marín Parra

Rionegro, Antioquia, Colombia



Emerson Marín Parra (Architectural Design Director), Ricardo Vásquez Ochoa (Architectural Design Director)


Juan Pablo Martínez Gómez (Landscape Architect), Hernan Arango Arango (Landscape Architect), Daniel Gómez Borja (Arquitect), Carlos Ramírez Suárez (Arquitect), Natalia Carvajal (Constructivamente) (Construction


Montessori School


Alejandro arango


The project aims to develop a long-term growth master plan for the site, drawing inspiration from Montessori education. Circular building designs are central to the project, facilitating the creation of courtyards reminiscent of traditional architecture while ensuring adaptation to the local climate, tradition, and context. Rooted in an understanding of the landscape—a rural terrain with scattered houses and low density—the project utilizes local materials like brick and clay tiles to create a warm, simple identity that harmonizes with the surroundings.
The circular roof design serves a dual purpose: providing outdoor play space for children and enabling supervision from within the building, enhancing functionality and safety. This is complemented by the integration of a spacious indoor play garden, seamlessly blending the surrounding nature into the project's interior. Considering sunlight exposure and bioclimatic factors, especially due to the region's high rainfall, the roof design prioritizes protecting classrooms while offering outdoor play opportunities in designated interior-exterior areas.
By incorporating eaves along the exterior perimeter and within the project, transitional spaces are created, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors. This approach enhances the overall experience of the space, aligning with the project's overarching goals of fostering a holistic learning environment that embraces both nature and architectural innovation.


Situated on a sprawling 60,000 square meter property near the Aburra Valley's second largest city, the project capitalizes on the region's rapid development, driven by ongoing infrastructure improvements such as the expanding road network linking Medellin and Rionegro.
Central to the project's concept is its integration with the surrounding landscape—a lush low montane rainforest. By leveraging this natural environment, the project aims to foster learning through experiential play, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between architecture and the landscape.


A key aspect of the project's success lies in the recognition by both teachers and school administrators of the significant benefits offered by its circular architecture. They discovered that this design perfectly complemented the Montessori methodology, allowing students to engage with the outdoor environment while also facilitating moments of deep concentration essential to the educational approach. In essence, the circular layout effectively bridged the gap between architectural design and the pedagogical goals of the school.
Furthermore, the project embraced the core values espoused by the Montessori methodology, particularly the recognition of the importance of nature and place in learning environments. Nature is seamlessly integrated throughout the project, with gardens, trees, and local flora and fauna prominently featured and easily accessible from the classrooms. The design ensures that both indoor and outdoor spaces offer captivating views, with ample sunlight filtering into each classroom to support educational activities.

In summary, the project's circular architecture not only enhances the learning experience by promoting interaction with nature but also prioritizes concentration and effective teaching practices. It stands as a testament to the successful integration of architectural design principles with educational philosophy, fostering a conducive and inspiring environment for both students and educators alike.

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