NEA – Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration

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NEA – Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration

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Excerpt: NEA – Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje’ is an architecture thesis by Valentin Corallo from the Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo – Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) that proposes an urban regeneration that repurposes the city’s original layout by redesigning public spaces and integrating the Hipódromo neighborhood with the rest of the La Plata city. The project seeks to improve the employment conditions, education goals, social inclusion, and abilities of young adults by providing them with spaces that encourage independent development.

Introduction: Resilience refers to the ability of individuals, communities, institutions, companies, and systems, particularly in urban environments, to withstand, adapt to, and thrive amid acute impacts and chronic stresses. It is rooted in internal strength, demonstrated through qualities like respect, responsibility, proactivity, autonomy, solidarity, creativity, and empathy. Social support systems, including appreciation from others, supportive friendships, positive role models, and enabling environments, significantly contribute to resilience.

Initiatives such as the Rockefeller Foundation’s “R.O.O.” resilient cities program help urban centers globally address 21st-century challenges. Localized efforts, like the Resilient Hipodromo Neighborhood, engage civil society in collaborative processes to identify and tackle urban issues, building robust resilience strategies collectively. This program focuses on enhancing employment conditions, education, social inclusion, and the abilities of young adults, equipping them with tools for autonomous development.

NEA – Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje proposes a city that places housing at its heart, ensuring all major attractions are accessible by eco-friendly transportation. This promotes physical and mental well-being while reducing pollution. Within a 15-minute walk or bike ride, residents can meet their essential needs across six categories: living, working, supplying, self-care, education, and leisure. This project seeks to foster a harmonious and sustainable urban life.

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Site Context

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
The Context

La Plata city was planned and built especially to serve as the province’s capital after Buenos Aires was declared as a federal district in 1880. It serves as the province’s main administrative, political, and educational hub. The layout of this planned city is renowned for having a perfect square with an inscription of the historical axis in the centre. It is also renowned for the excellent design of the diagonals that cross it, creating rhombuses and pyramids within its outline, with squares and forests precisely every six blocks.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Current Situation

The Hipodromo neighbourhood has been chosen as the intervention site. It is named “Hipódromo Neighborhood” because it is located next to the city’s racecourse, which is the main activity in the area. It is currently cut off from the rest of the city and its activities, making it difficult for the neighbourhood to maintain connections with important centres like the university campus and the forest. The current situation has led to a fragmented urban fabric, corrupting the original urban layout and excluding the neighbourhood from the main activities concentrated in the city center.

Proposed Situation

The proposed situation envisions a new urban structure that recomposes the original layout of the city to enhance the social habitat and redesign public spaces for citizens. This plan aims to integrate the Hipódromo neighbourhood with the rest of the city. Three axes are established to organize and articulate the various programs.

Design Process

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Introduction to Proposal

The project seeks to improve employment conditions, education goals, social inclusion, and abilities of young adults by providing them with tools to achieve their development autonomously. The program includes guidance counselors who offer various proposals, while the interdisciplinary team, consisting of professionals from social work, law, and psychology, supports the counselors by defining comprehensive strategies and monitoring complex situations.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Proposal

Individuals are encouraged to independently engage in economic activities through business projects or services, fostering self-management and self-administration, thereby generating employment and resources for themselves and their communities. The program aims to generate better possibilities for comprehensive human development, promoting the improvement of quality of life and health conditions through the incorporation of rules, values, and habits. Active cultural participation is vital for social inclusion, offering motivation and skills for increased civic engagement.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Creative Process

The creative process involves creating a rectangular volume on the municipal line to support a square. This volume is divided into two main programs, with smaller volumes subtracted for playgrounds, light, and ventilation. The first program opens towards the city, while the second program opens towards the new forest. These programs are connected by a circulation that takes the entire building, resulting in multiple-use spaces articulated by patios. The process ensures a well-designed and functional building.

Final Outcome

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Sector Masterplan
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Implantation And Renders
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Main Access Render

Planning: The master plan is structured around three main axes, with housing as the city’s foundation. These axes organize key programs and establish a network of interconnections. A proposed new green space, acting as the city’s lung, will be equipped for physical activity and leisure, ensuring accessibility for all. This initiative promotes environmental care and fosters communal gathering spaces for everyday social interactions.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Implementation
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Plan Zero
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Exterior Render

A new city is envisioned with housing as its core and foundation. This city ensures that main attractions—cultural, educational, or tourist—are accessible via eco-friendly transportation, promoting both physical and mental health while minimizing visual, noise, and environmental pollution. Within a 15-minute walk or bike ride, residents can meet most of their essential needs. The city’s layout allows inhabitants to efficiently manage their lives across six key areas: living, working, supplying, self-care, education, and leisure.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Longitudinal Sections
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Side Elevations
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Programmatic Dismantling

Proposal and Strategy: The projects manage to be carried out with promise when all the protagonists (both teachers and students) participate. The concept of calling on parents, teachers, students, and mothers resumes a dialogue that has been broken many times. Schools are thought-producing spaces where students can be called upon to share their ideas, have their preferences assessed, and have conversations about who they are. Thematic murals would then emerge as a result of them being invited to rescue not only the institutional memory but also the memory of the town, city, or neighbourhood in which they live.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Flexible Classrooms
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Render Interior Cafeteria
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
High School Interior Render

Classrooms: The post-Covid-19 architectural paradigm includes functional flexibility, services modules, a sanitation and storage module, and ventilation and natural lighting. Classrooms can be doubled or tripled based on student numbers or class activities. Services modules include elevators, mixed-use toilets, and disabled toilets. All classrooms have proportional windows for proper air exchange. These features are designed to cater to new specialties and student needs.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Community Pavilion
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Flexible Sports Center
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Render Exterior Access Sports Center

Functional Flexibility: Flexible spaces are developed to support multiple functions like sports space, an auditorium recital, and an exhibition fair. The sports center features a basketball, indoor soccer, and volleyball court that can adapt to various activities. The auditorium recital uses a mobile stage for conferences, recitals, or auditoriums, allowing the entire neighborhood to enjoy the event. The exhibition fair offers a platform for both young and adult participants to showcase and sell their products.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Cross Section
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Cross Section

Artistic Expressions: Murals are designed to create spaces that promote ownership and recognition within institutions, combining content, techniques, and learning with personal expression. They encourage students to take an active role in their education, fostering critical thinking and appreciation of diverse artistic expressions. This approach encourages reasoned evaluation and strengthens students’ autonomy and self-esteem, promoting a cultural and social understanding of art.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Structural Axonometry
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Envelope

Construction System: The construction system consists of a monolithic skeleton of metal beams and columns, offering advantages such as easy assembly with a crane, quick and clean placement, facility pass execution, and no need for shoring or formwork except for cantilevers, allowing for daily coverage of 300-450 m2.

NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
High School Interior Render
NEA - Nuevos Espacios de Aprendizaje (New Learning Spaces) | Architecture Thesis on Urban Regeneration
Render Outdoor Playgrounds High School

Conclusion: The project envisions a new urban structure that repurposes the city’s original layout by redesigning public spaces and integrating the Hipódromo neighborhood with the rest of the La Plata city. By encouraging independent development, the programme offers flexible spaces that enhance young adults’ skills, education, social inclusion, and employment conditions.

[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]

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