El Caño Martin Peña is a waterway canal that travels through the center of San Juan, Puerto Rico. During the early 1900s, a community of impoverished squatters settled in its surroundings, polluting the canal and creating a hazardous environment. With plans to dredge the canal, a revitalization of the area is in the works. El Caño High School is designed to educate and integrate this community with the adjacent areas. Located parallel to a main transit avenue and perpendicular to el Caño Martin Peña, its form has to be inclusive to the community, but exclusive of the noise and distractions of the transit avenue, while maintaining a good relationship with nature and the canal.
El Caño High School recognizes the north-west corner as a hub to the Urban Train Station. The library is located here as it can be used by the community members as well as the students. The design includes four special classrooms that can be used independently for the use of the community. Vast recreational areas, including a gym and pool, are designed for the use of students and community. The west façade features a wall and brise-soleil filter that is meant to protect from the sun, wind, and rain, but also attenuate the disturbances of the street.
Designed by Carlos Vigo.