TALLER DE FOTOPERIODISMO
RAFAEL CASTRO MONTES DE OCA
LOCATION: PUERTA DE TIERRA DISTRICT, OLD SAN JUAN, PR
SIZE: 11,400 SF
ABNEL Jo. HERNÁNDEZ
GREEN ENGINEERING GROUP
Taller de Fotoperiodismo [TDF] is a nonprofit organization that was founded by a group of photojournalists in 1994 with the purpose of promoting education through the use of photography related technology. Throughout the regular academic semester as well as during the summer vacations TDFoffers extra-curricular courses in photography, video, iMovie, and Photoshop, to kids from the ages of 7 to 18. TDF has also become a cultural destination as it serves as a hosting venue for countless conferences, presentations, and book launches, which are all open to the general public.
The project is located in a 1920’s reinforced concrete structure that was originally used as a furniture factory and store. The building sits on a 2,705m2 lot on the south side of Ponce de León Avenue in the San Juan District of Puerta de Tierra. It has 3 floors of approximately 3,800ft2 each and a total construction are of 11,400ft2. The structure is rectangular with the longer axis running east to west and the main facade looking towards Ponce de León Avenue.
The project’s goal was to optimize the existing facility’s use in order to add classroom, gallery, and office space without adding a single square foot to the building. Rooms and circulation areas are arranged in such a way as to promote casual encounters between students and staff and offer countless opportunities for exhibiting the tremendous amount of creative work generated by students. Also, an entrance plaza is added in front of the building to better accommodate the hundreds of students that arrive in school buses every day to TDF and to serve as an urban node that recognizes the importance of this institution to the community. The front facade of the building is composed of several rectangular oculi which are proportioned to resemble the most common aspect ratios used in photography; [1:1], [4:3], [5:7], [16:9]. These elements frame views into the second floor classrooms, the second floor gallery areas, and the first floor multi-use room. There is also a viewing apparatus incorporated to the building which allows building users to have a fisheye lens view of the outside plaza from the main stairs landing.
All Finishes used in the building are simple, durable and easy to maintain (ie. polished concrete floors, smooth cement plaster walls, tempered glass, terrazzo floor tiles, corten steel panels, exposed concrete walls). The mechanical, plumbing, electrical and telecommunications infrastructure is kept exposed to allow easy maintenance. The project incorporates a photovoltaic south wall which takes advantage of the intense tropical sun to generate power while shielding the building from the heat gain. There are also car shades with photovoltaic panels on the parking lot. Both of these devises contribute to lower the grid power consumption of the building and help diminish the heat island effect.
ABNEL Jo. HERNÁNDEZ
AIA HONOR AWARDS 2012