Treviso || Italy
The extension to the elementary school is clearly distinct from the original building and the design choices were not merely based on stylistic choices, but also the need to ensure better conditions for the children and teachers by 'drawing' in the exterior and increasing the natural light to pleasant, controlled levels. Technological, energy and environmental performance were additional factors underlying the design choices, to ensure the levels achieved met the highest standards.
The extension added a double-storey building with a metal sheet double-pitched roof that contrasts starkly with the geometry, gradient and materials of the existing structure. As a whole, though, the extension clearly connects to the volume of the existing school.
In addition to adding five new classrooms, a special room, areas for communal activities and toilets, the new build is physically linked to the old eating area, doubling the seating capacity and locating the food counter at the centre.
The lively, coloured walls of some sections of the extension help create a system that identifies and separates functions and activities so the different areas are easily recognisable and accessible. The classrooms on the two floors are along a corridor and, on the upper floor, the corridor widens to form a key space for communal activities.
The volume of the extension stands out quite sharply, due to an elegant separation from the existing building. This approach highlights the development of the school building, which becomes clearly visible through the architectural features of the extension.
The angle of the roof overhang creates a small 'veranda' with diagonal uprights. This is one of the aspects that produces a clear identity for the innovative new volume. The others are the materials and colours, which contrast starkly with the repetitiveness of the old building and place bright colours at the centre of the design, and the trapezoidal profile of the eastern and western elevations, marked by an overhanging frame. It is the combination of all these elements that helps turn the school into a pleasant, efficient setting.
The ventilated façades are clad in colourful HPL sheets, arranged in vertical patterns. This brings colour to the façades and is emphasised by the aluminium flap sunscreens on the eastern and western sides. The flaps are arranged in groups of red, blue, yellow and grey.
They let in soft and changing light that can be adjusted and given different hues to help identify the passing of time and define the classroom space. The fire escape, located under the "veranda" formed by the overhanging roof, is screened by a wall of modular panels that visually mark out the escape route.
Location: Quinto di Treviso (TV)
Client: Comune di Quinto di Treviso
Cost of Construction: 750.000,00 Euro
Architects: Elisa Dalla Vecchia, Giulia Dalla Vecchia - ViTre Studio
Design Team: Lorenzo Dalla Vecchia, Matteo Munari, Ivan Mattarolo, Giovanni Beda, Silvia Dall’Igna, Franco Vergeat
Contractor: Tasca Aldo S.p.A.
Door and Window Frames: Guidolin
Photography: © Marco Zorzanello
ViTre Studio s.r.l. Società di Ingegneria
ViTre Studio s.r.l. Società di Ingegneria grew from an idea to combine the professional skills of two important areas of Italy: the city of Vicenza (in the Veneto region) and the province of Trentino. This is reflected in the company name, ViTre. The union of these two geographical zones, both famous for their work ethic, entrepreneurship, and focus on product quality and environmental protection, saw the coming together of fourteen professional studios, experts, and leaders in the public and private architecture sectors.
Working alongside other professionals, Elisa and Giulia Dalla Vecchia form the core of ViTre’s architectural design team. Both studied architecture at the IUAV in Venice, graduating in 2004 and in 2011 respectively, majoring in restoration and landscape architecture.
Elisa Dalla Vecchia spent a number of years in the academic field, involved with European research projects, as a part of which she created the Maeve interactive installation for the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennial. Since 2009, she has devoted herself to the practice of architecture. In 2013, she received an honourable mention in the Renzo Piano Foundation award for young Italian architects.
As part of her work with ViTre, Giulia Dalla Vecchia won second prize in the 2013 national competition for ideas for a new sports stadium in Sirmione.
Both architects are also involved in small art and exhibition projects, such as the installation Visioni Mobili for the 2013 Vicenza Città di Architettura.