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Pinilla Academy


Pinilla Acadamy Members of the Board


Pinilla, Guanacaste, Costa Rica








In the rural outskirts of Costa Rica a group of parents convened to create a school for their children and the local children of the area of Pinilla, Guanacaste.
Unhappy with the direction and quality of the existing neighboring schools, the board was able to purchase a site located in the outskirts of a rural town.
The site is large and has great potential to become a large outdoor classroom. Among its characteristics are, a river, a teak farm, howler monkeys, secondary rainforest, tropical dry forest flora and fauna, several large centenary trees, adequate topography, proximity to the ocean and mountain, and proximity to the local culture of Nicoya that has been recognized by many anthropologists as possessing world value due to their social, dietary, and work habits.
The development of a strategic master plan for fundraising was the result of the parent committee and the lessons learned where that a building could not only house the activities of education and learning but also become a teacher and body of knowledge for the students who inhabit it.
This was achieved through the ways in which the construction methods depended on the cycles of material economies available onsite and on nearby sites; By the play and reaction to the specific climate conditions on site as are the heavy rains and heavy winds characteristic to the yearly cycles; By the stories embedded and built in the trees and river of the site through the many outdoor classroom activities for story telling and hands on learning.
The entire school, with its fields, buildings and green areas included was seen as a teacher.
The building itself was conceived and conceptualized as an extension of the site and its teachers and in turn the whole property was utilized in the plan as an opportunity to educate and be educated.