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The school is the place of the search for knowledge, of living with questioning. Cooperatively with the family, it is up to the school to contribute to the construction of citizenship and autonomy, preparing individuals for a greater capacity for reflection, appreciation of diversity and respect for others.

Recently built, the Escola da Fundação Zerrenner, a non-profit organization of Ambev Brasil, seeks to enhance the human process of questioning, valuing conviviality, exchange and the multiple possibilities of appropriation of space.

The school was built on a large plot of land on Avenida Cornélio Viana, on the outskirts of the city, with the landscape of the Santa Helena mountain range in the background. The land and its surroundings are situated in a rural area and its resident population is predominantly low-income. Without changing the profile of the residents, the surroundings undergo a positive transformation, also due to the architecture of the new educational structures, sports and cultural complex. Behind this transformative capacity is the idea that different activities can coexist in harmony. In this sense, the project is very significant and, therefore, it was conceived as a unique gesture, which invites and welcomes.

Viewed from the Avenue, the complex is defined by a large curved portico, which catalyzes the welcome greetings. Extending parallel to the avenue, this element indicates the access and internally articulates the main volumes.

The complex consists of 3 blocks: Primary and Secondary School to the south, Technical School to the north. In the center is the auditorium and gymnasium block, allowing for external and internal functions.

The distribution of volumes respected the north-south orientation, favorable for educational use. In addition, its hollow shapes are permeable to the region's winds, benefiting thermal comfort. The entire project was conceived in a standardized and rational way in order to facilitate its execution with greater gains in the construction process.

In the center of the plot, a large square unites the three blocks. In it, several uses coexist: on the one hand, the institutional area, on the other, the sports area. A large water tower, with a clock, crowns the space, creating a strong image element: a reference for the school and the city.

The Elementary and High School Block is made up of two floors. On the ground floor, the balcony opens up multiple possibilities for socializing and gives continuity to the proposed landscaping.

This large pilotis is punctuated by generous vertical circulation cores, allowing direct and clear access to the various parts of the building. Distributed in this space are the service environments, the pedagogical framework and special classrooms. In the center, the restaurant generates a nucleus of experience and serves the entire educational unit.

On the first floor are 30 classrooms and support areas. With glass closure, they open for circulation. This acquires a noble character, turning to the outside, providing routes for the enjoyment of the landscape and, also, allowing a separation between elementary and secondary education. The feeling of continuity is reinforced by a lightweight envelope, made up of pivoting horizontal louver panels. They contribute to temperature reduction through shading and channeling the winds.

The Technical Education block has a functional and formal configuration similar to the Elementary Education block. The ground floor houses the library and the entire administrative sector. The first floor houses 10 rooms, with 35 students per room, and support areas.

The third, central block houses the auditorium and gymnasium. In a more solemn and monumental way, it opens the school to a wider public, with its access being able to be carried out independently of the school.

The auditorium foyer is visible from Avenida Cornélio Viana. From this generous space, you have access to the 500-seat auditorium. A café located on the mezzanine welcomes visitors and creates an extra space for socializing.

At the back, this block houses the gym, for 1000 people. Facing the central square, its rear facade, made up of large sliding doors, allows the connection between interior and exterior.

In total, the proposed built-up area is approximately 19,000 m² with an occupancy rate of around 35%. There will be more than 8,000 m² of green area, in addition to the non-buildable area and the institutional area, which correspond to more than 7,000 m². When fully occupied, the school can serve over 2500 students.

Opened for use in 2016, the building inaugurates its function as an institution of knowledge and social improvement.


Gustavo Penna, Laura Penna, Norberto Bambozzi, Alice Leite Flores, Alyne Ferreira, Ana Isabel de Sá, Bárbara Novais, Catarina Hermanny, Carolina Castro, Eduardo Magalhães, Fernanda Tolentino, Fernando Artigas, Gabriel de Souza, Henrique Neves, Hiromi Sassaki, Isadora Dawson, Ivan Rimsa, Jordana Faria, Julia Lins, Juliana Ferreira, Larissa Freire, Leticia Carneiro, Marcus Flávio Martins, Michelle Moura, Naiara Costa, Naim Korqa, Oded Stahl, Patrícia Gonçalves, Paula Salum, Raquel de Resende, Sarah Fernandes

Management and Planning

Risia Botrel, Isabela Tolentino and Taimara Araújo


Sete Lagoas – Minas Gerais – Brazil


Technical Data
Year of the project: 2011

Year of completion of the work: 2016
Built area: 25,808m²


Jomar Bragança

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