El Árbol del Arte

‘El Árbol de Arte’ is a safe and inspiring shelter for the children of Tulum so that they can expand their creativity and imagination. 


By stimulating the local building industry, the project taps into informal waste collection and makes use of the ‘UniBrick’ design in order to recycle a maximum amount of plastic. Through using the ‘UniBrick’ alone, the project is able to recycle 10 tons of plastic. The bricks are three times more insulating than clay and are made fire resistant. With a small team of people, the project can be expected to take around 4-5 months to build. The school’s simple and effective
construction starts with a shallow R.C.C. foundation, where the bricks can start being laid; anchored and tied down using a system of steel rods and bolts. The walls can then be topped off with a prefabricated and lightweight roof structure made of timber, bamboo and roof sheeting. The roof is designed at two different angles in order for solar panels to be placed at the optimal angle and for rain water to be collected (for cleaning and watering plants).

The design consists of three blocks built in a similar way, allowing for less elements and material to be wasted. The office block is separate so it can be locked if needed. The multi-purpose room and classroom are more open and connected through an outdoor deck which can be adapted to multiple types of activities (art, yoga, wellness...). These two buildings are located around the beautiful african tulip tree whose shade and sight can be enjoyed by the
kids. Behind the sanitary block, where the children can clean their hands, feet and dishes, there is room for the second tulip tree to be placed as well as a picnic bench where both children and adults can enjoy eating or making art outside.

The school has been intentionally designed in an introverted manner, looking towards the natural elements (trees and plants), not only improving the mental wellbeing of the children but also making use of the natural ventilation provided by the eastern winds. Spatially, a direct link between the interior and the exterior can be created, as well as a safer enclosure from the sounds of the roads. Therefore, three large walls can be made available for both the art mural
and the ‘MOM I’M FINE’ logo to be clearly seen from the exterior.


Through its educatory and positive impact, “El Árbol de Arte” imparts a similar vision to the one of LADLE, empowering the children in Tulum through ART, WELLNESS and ENVIRONMENT.