The project for the new school complex "ISTITUTO DON MILANI" aims to build a main and innovative facility for Pizzoli, a small town in L'Aquila, in central Italy, close to Gran Sasso. The new school will be a symbol of rebirth for the town, which was deeply affected by the 2016 seismic events that hit this area. The project, in fact, provides for the demolition of the current school, now condemned, and wants to build a structure with spaces adapted to contemporary pedagogical directions, which will allow instruction in the best possible environmental and educational conditions, with particular interest in ensuring the safety of students also from an earthquake-proof point of view. The peculiarity of the project is the circular shape: the new school complex in Pizzoli will feature a circular plan of about 3800 square meters, with an internal courtyard, developed on two levels above ground with green roofing. The ground floor hosts the spaces dedicated to the elementary school and the school gym with related locker rooms, while in the first floor there are spaces for the secondary school. All classrooms are optimally oriented, with prevailing southeast exposure, ensuring comfort for students and school staff as well as adequate natural lighting of the rooms during the hours when the classrooms are most used. The new school takes advantage of the sloping ground conformation from north to south of the lot: part of the gym is in fact buried along the north wall. On the ground floor, the open circular inner courtyard contains an outdoor play area and a sensory garden. The decision to design the building with a courtyard conformation makes possible to maintain a constant relationship with the context and achieve permeability between inside and outside, between the school and the landscape in which it fits. This creates a unique and interconnected environment: not only the classrooms, but also the distribution spaces take an active role in students' learning and teaching, thus creating convivial and dynamic spaces. All classrooms and other learning spaces overlook the circular connective space, which in turn is connected with the inner courtyard garden. The connective space thus becomes a place that is open to the outside world, lit, healthy and, above all, a meeting and learning point for those who experience the school. The entrances to the primary and secondary school are designed independently although the interior space is free and interconnected on both levels of the school. The ground-floor entrance, accessible via an outdoor plaza, opens into a large atrium: this too is a sharing space for students, with a large staircase/library that can be used by both primary and secondary schools, becoming a kind of usable auditorium. This is not only a space to walk through, but also a "space to be and learn," creating relationships and visually expanding towards the whole school and outdoor spaces. The chosen solutions will make it possible to design and construct a building that not only complies with current regulations, but above all aims to achieve environmental sustainability and proper use of renewable resources, using passive technologies. The presence of natural light in learning and leisure environments, connection with the natural environment and air quality will be ensured. Attention will be given to acoustic comfort in order to carry out school activities in the best possible way. The roof-garden technology solution will be implemented in the roof, where photovoltaic panels will be placed along the inner radius of the building. The school is also equipped with a solar shading system that runs along the entire outer perimeter of the building. The design of the new Pizzoli school complex, therefore, is part of a context of innovation and transformation with respect to the way schools are experienced, not only from the point of view of teaching, but also of the architecture itself. Open, sensitive, permeable places that focus on students and the quality of spaces as a key element of learning. The context that accommodates them is articulated in spaces capable of building opportunities and suggesting actions to best carry out the various school and extracurricular activities. In conclusion, the classroom environment abandons the old patterns of closed and rigid space in favor of a more flexible, varied and, above all, more open configuration.
Sardellini Marasca Architetti is an architectural firm based in Ancona, led by Anita Sardellini (founder), Andrea Marasca and Giorgio Marasca. Professionalism, experience, a deep bond with the territory and various awards acquired over the years: founded in 1970, the firm is a point of reference in the architecture and interior design sector. Always engaged in the pursuit of quality in architecture, the firm develops the design by engaging in giving shape and space to the client's expectations, ensuring the management and control of the overall cost of the work for both private and public works. Ours is an easily understandable architecture that, through careful synergy with the context, enhances and transforms it by creating new identities between built and nature. Simple, rigorous, silent buildings with pure shapes make the firm a point of reference for contemporary architecture in central Italy.