Mixed Horizontal and Vertical Pine Siding on a Modern School Building

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A new kindergarten building in Spain offers a great example of how beautifully pine siding can brighten up even the simplest of structures. The El Tiller Waldorf-Steiner School in the town of Bellaterra looks deceptively simple at first glance, like a single monolithic block of a building with little architectural detail. But get closer and you’ll not only take in the fresh, modern effect of mixed vertical and horizontal pine siding, but also a fun and unexpected design.

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Architects Eduard Balcells, Ignasi Rius and Daniel Tigges chose to use prefabricated panels of pine, one temperature-treated layer on the outside and one on the inside, with insulation in between. That made construction fast and easy.

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“The combination of the thermal insulation of wood-fiber panels, together with the large thermal inertia of the concrete structure, almost eliminates the need for heating in winter,” says the firm.

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The building is also built up against, but not quite into, the hill. When you’re approaching the back of the building from the higher elevation, you find bridges leading directly to the second floor, with a gap giving the lower level private sheltered areas shaded from the hot Spanish sun.

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Inside, pine is also used to create window nooks offering a fun, cozy day lit space for students to read. The windows all have external shutters to control the amount of sunlight streaming inside.

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