The school complex is conceived as a hinge between the park and the neighborhood, with a system of interconnected but formally independent buildings grafted onto a new fabric of public spaces. A widespread school model is proposed: the schools, divided by order of grade along the lot, alternate with volumes occupied with common activities, facilitating their use as civic centers. The design process first starts from the design of public spaces. On the main front, a system of threshold spaces draws new accesses to schools and offers a renewed connection to the park.
The building is thought as a border between public mineral spaces and scholastic green spaces. The architectural layout makes the intervention recognizable as a whole while distinguishing the character of each building. The design vocabulary is identified by some architectural features common to all buildings: compactness of the volumes; the horizontality; the modularity of the composition; the intention of opening outwards (through overhangs, terraces) and inwards (through the patios) that brings the landscape into the building; the chromatic gradient.
The planimetric layout of each building is designed according to common criterias: a fluid circulation is proposed with large connective spaces designed as an extension of didactic and special activities; classrooms can be connected to each other or, alternatively, can be opened towards the common space, canceling the distinction between connective and educational environments. All the laboratories are organized in a single building (called open lab) conceived as a large open-plan laboratory, designed for more experimental teaching and open to the public during extra-school hours. Finally, the project suggests a pedagogical modality that conceives outdoor spaces as an extension of educational and recreational activities. Several spaces respond to this theme: the terraces, the courtyards, the roofs.
All buildings share the same construction and design sustainability criteria. The structures in prefabricated wooden elements are organized according to a grid that generates modular spaces, encouraging flexibility of use. The dry construction system for external and internal partitions speeds up construction and facilitates adaptability over time. The finishing materials and their colors have been chosen so as to define a palette that repeats itself, with slight variations, on the various buildings of the school complex.
Client: Comune di Milano
Status: Competition – Second prize
Typology: School complex, new construction
Architects: BDR bureau
Team: Simona Della Rocca, Alberto Bottero, Paolo Bianco, Luca Pascale
Site: Milano, Italy