In the heart of Peru’s jungle, a Nomatsigenga native hamlet is home to the Alto Anapati preschool initiative. The 2008-founded school was in perilous circumstances and under danger of floods. With to funding from the local government and international cooperation, the project came to fruition in 2021, giving 86 families a place to gather and providing more than 50 children with access to education.

Studio name: Asociación Semillas para el Desarrollo Sostenible.
Built Area: 397 m²
Year: 2019-2021
Location: Native Community of Alto Anapati, Pangoa, Satipo, Peru.
Team: Marta Maccaglia, Giulia Perri (Architecture), Miriam Danne (Inter-institutional Coordination), Samanta Sinistri (participatory process), Carlos Barreda, Vital Ingenieros (Engineering), David Shoente Chumpate, Pascual Chumpate Mahuanca, Walter Chanqueti Chimanca (Community Management), Lidelma Laureano Quinto, Carmen Gutiérrez (Coordination and logistics).
Construction: Javier Garcia Paucar, Elias Martinez Ramos, Alejandro Vera Palian, Lidio Andres Martinez Apolinario.
Photography: ©Semillas, ©Eleazar Cuadros

Nursery School, Alto Anapati by Semillas - Sheet4
©Semillas, ©Eleazar Cuadros


A collaborative workshop process and an anthropological approach were used to create the architectural proposal.

“Observation surveys” were created in the first stage to better understand the dynamics of education in this community. As a result, the significance of outdoor learning environments and regional traditions as components of how the space is inhabited emerged. In a later stage, worktables with parents were held to discuss the good living of local peoples, which led to the realization that the school is the center of the neighborhood and the lifeblood of the Nomatsigenga knowledge and territory’s preservation. With the community, these workshops helped develop the school’s function and symbolic significance.

Nursery School, Alto Anapati by Semillas - Sheet6
©Semillas, ©Eleazar Cuadros

The design concept aimed to highlight these insights through its spatiality. The structure, which is divided into two blocks, is situated near the community’s access area. The block housing the multipurpose room, the administrative area, the kitchen, and the restrooms is situated on the southwest side. The “Aula bosque” (forest classroom), a place created as an outdoor classroom, is directly connected to the multipurpose room, a classroom without walls.

The block of classrooms is located on the east side and has big sliding partitions that open to the learning space’s outdoor spaces. The interior and exterior are connected via all of the enclosures’ evaporating boundaries. The school actively participates in the landscape rather than just observing it.

Nursery School, Alto Anapati by Semillas - Sheet9
©Semillas, ©Eleazar Cuadros

The majority of the materials used in the project were sourced locally, including river stones, clay bricks, and wood, preserving local manufacturing and workmanship. The building is integrated into the environment through low-impact architecture that complies with community sustainability and maintenance capabilities.


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