Bolzano || Italy
In the mountainous San Valentino in Campo various public buildings, the church and the clergy house all occupy the same rocky outcrop as the primary school (including a library) and the Planetarium, which also has a ground-floor outpatient clinic and a multi-purpose hall.
The latter two buildings rise next to each other, but are slightly apart to avoid adding excessive volume to this mountain town where the residential buildings really are quite unobtrusive. This space between the edifices also helps to keep the church and the area immediately around it as the dominant architectural feature in the town, fitting with the well-balanced new school buildings.
The slope made it possible for the Planetarium's ground floor to be open on three sides, while for the primary school it created another level (effectively a basement), with an open south-facing front.
The Planetarium building has an irregular polygonal layout, with three aboveground floors, including the outpatient clinic. The primary school, which appears higher up than the Planetarium, has a trapezoidal plan, with three aboveground floors and the open basement level (used for the canteen).
The Planetarium structure includes space for educational activities (obviously related to astronomy) that is centred on the dome, which is the heart and focal point of this complex, with a double-height section. The stairs, with two flights, is located next to the entrance, at the end of the building to allow a full view of the Planetarium dome as you climb the second flight of stairs. The large teaching area has numerous technical features, including a control room, an electrical utilities room and a teachers' room. From this hall, the view through the large glazed window is of the Alps.
From the outside, the Planetarium dome is visible through the large glazed section that rises two storeys on the southern façade. This huge, trapezoidal window runs parallel to the line of the roof and is separated into different sections by wooden panels, creating the hallmark of the complex.
Both buildings are characterised by large doors and windows, emphasising the public nature of these structures and helping to merge them harmoniously into the urban fabric and surrounding landscape, in a perfect balance of materials and volumes.
Location: Cornedo all'Isarco, Bolzano
Client: Comune di Cornedo, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano
Cost of Construction: 7.905.000 Euro
Architects: CeZ Calderan Zanovello Architetti - Carlo Calderan, Rinaldo Zanovello
Contractor: Kofler Bau
Structural: Herbert Mair
Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Systems: Energitech Ingenieure
Safety: Studio Pichler Winkler
Photography: © Günther Richard Wett
CeZ Calderan Zanovello Architetti
CeZ Architetti was set up in Bolzano in 2003 by Carlo Calderan and Rinaldo Zanovello after winning a competition for a new primary school in Vipiteno, which was completed in 2010. Since then, the firm has participated in 60 competitions and won numerous awards.
The firm looks after every stage of projects, including site management, furniture design, and landscape architecture.
Current projects include the Tubre town hall, a library with a sheltered workshop in San Martino in Passira, the restoration of the Bressanone town hall, and a new day centre for Alzheimer’s patients in Castelfranco Veneto with architect Martina Davanzo.
In 2011, the firm won the Sixth Premio d’Architettura Alto Adige for the new German-language primary school in Vipiteno.