Study Rooms of the International School of Palmela, Portugal by Estúdio AMATAM

exploring the possibilities of modular wooden construction

Project Specs


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How can modular construction help complementing an International School program when you have little space and controlled costs? An orchard was changed and interconnected, helping to create the most conducive learning environment in these modular classrooms.

overview of the project ©Sérgio Garcês Marques


The intervention at the International School of Palmela’s orchard intended to complement the existing facilities throughout a new area of ​​support rooms (with controlled costs) implemented in an area of ​​the existing orchard.

view of the new classroom from the playground ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

interconnected modular classrooms  ©Sérgio Garcês Marques


Given these constraints, the program was approached through modular construction, creating four modules with a contemporary interpretation, exploring the possibilities of modular wooden construction and its spatial versatility. Three different room modules and one for sanitary facilities were proposed, placed throughout the orchard in a total of eight modules.

views of the facades ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

details of the facades ©Sérgio Garcês Marques


Its implantation was carefully studied to cut down the minimum number of trees, as these are an integral part of the project’s global image. The modules are harmoniously distributed throughout the orchard and interconnected by a deck path that branches to the different rooms.

trees as an integral part of the project ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

interlaced paths along the modules ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

details ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

在材料方面,模块外部铺设着水平方向的自然漆木饰面和竖直方向的黑色 Viroc板,形成两个不同维度,赋予立面引人入胜的节奏感。

In terms of materiality, the exterior of the modules uses horizontal slats in varnished wood and black Viroc with a natural finish, with the detail that the slats are composed of two different dimensions, giving the elevation of the modules an appealing rhythmic image.

entrance of the classroom module ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

window of the classroom ©Sérgio Garcês Marques


The interior of the modules is composed of pine flooring and walls lined with chipboard coated with white HPL up to the height of the spans – allowing it to be used as a writing board for students to enjoy -, the remaining wall is lined with a triple-pane spruce wood panel, also lining the ceiling, with the apparent wooden beams.

interior view ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

chipboard used as a writing board for students ©Sérgio Garcês Marques


In the sanitary installation module, the HPL-coated chipboard panel is replaced by ceramic 15x15cm, in matte white color with colored gasket (blue color in the male toilet installation and yellow in the female toilet installation). It’s a phased project, with only three modules built so far.

the sanitary installation module ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

different colors for male and female ©Sérgio Garcês Marques

plan © Estúdio AMATAM

elevations © Estúdio AMATAM

section © Estúdio AMATAM

Project name: Study Rooms of the International School of Palmela
Office: Estúdio AMATAM
Design year: 2018
Leader designers and team: Manuela Tamborino, João Amaral and Rui Cardoso
Project location: Palmela, Portugal
Gross Built Area: 186 m²
Photography credits: Sérgio Garcês Marques
Photographer’s website:
Photographer’s e-mail:
Photographer’s Instagram: @gar.ces_
Client: International School of Palmela
Brands/Products used: Investwood, SA – Black Viroc
Cinca – Ceramics
Banema – Accoya wood

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