To design a school means to get in touch with public and social matters (issues)… which ones in this case?
What were the needs of the community? What kind of demands and needs have been met to fulfil this project? The theme was the construction of the community, both symbolically and educationally. For this, we worked on mythical and symbolic elements – the tree, the tent, the clearing, the sky –, capable of create the educational mechanism of belonging and knowledge.
What have been the sources of inspiration for the shape of this projects? The Tent has collectivity (“Il Sogno di Costantino” by Piero della Francesca, “La Chiesa dell’Autostrada” by Giovanni Michelucci), and the opening to the sky (the “Oculus” by Andrea Mantegna).
What is the relationship between the building and the surronding territory? The project stems from the territorial elements: the horizontal line of the lot, its green, the profile of the mountains, the hills and the sky.
There is a strong and visible dialogue between the building shape, the profile of the Mountains and the reflection of the sky. Like in the poem by Andrea Zanzotto: “Mai mancante neve di metà Maggio, chi vuoi salvare, chi ti ostini a salvare?” The sequence of M, M, N, M, M, is directly the profile of the Mountains.
What are the design key points of this project? Rationality of the plan, freedom of the section and of the relation with the external world.
What are the characterizing and recognizable elements of the building? The Tent and its colours, the trees in the Court, The Court as symbolic place of connection between children and between children and the world (the sky).
How is the space organized functionally? Two “L” connected, one is the “L” of Classrooms, the other is the one of the common services.
What materials and colours did you use? Why? The building is completely made in prefabricated panels in wood, and prepainted steel roof-deck. The prefabrication has a double advantage: its sustainability and installation timing. The steel have been chosen for the costs.
What does this building wants to impart/communicate? The “construction of the citizen”, and of the roots, the importance of belonging to a specific context and territory.
Concept and Words by Ester Pirotta
Photos by Ernesta Caviola