The search for medium scale but heightened interventions in the territory of the sprawl, of which Ponzano is part, brought the attention to investigate the role of school buildings in contemporary. School buildings are matter of interest for different reasons:
– they are small and have a character of dispersion: they follow the logic of sprawl but their presence is compulsory in relation to the distance of the inhabitants;
– their program looks very specific but instead is open as the building is used for only a part of the day while, instead, some spaces can be activated by the community after the school hours;
– schools are spaces where a multi-cultural experiences is compulsory and happens naturally;
– they are familiar, small scale, easily accessible buildings and they are colored knots in the grey city of dispersion;
– they are usually low-budget buildings.
PPS constitutes a new node, a ‘society building’, a meeting place for the whole community. Part of the building (the gymnasium and some of the classrooms) is in fact accessible after school hours.
The architects focused on collective spaces. Firstly, in the general outline: all spaces are gathered around a central square, memory of the monastic cloisters, places of knowledge preservation. Then, in section: all the spaces face each other and are reflected by the transparent and coloured walls.
Intervisibility favours the exchanging of knowledge, experience and socialization. The school becomes a ‘society building’, a space of possible multietnic exchange and comparison. It becomes a threshold, were to keep together a landscape of memory and a landscape of contemporary. During the design phase they worked by participating the community in the design process.
The design of the elevations is a thin filigree. It sews together the roof and the ground and transforms the elevation in a deeper threshold designed by the shadows of the red bend pillars on the wood and glass wall inside the arcade where all the classrooms are open towards.
The arcade is also the screen against the sun together with a system of rolling curtains (mounted on a metallic structure) which automatically unroll under the control of the BMS system.
Due to his huge volume, the gymnasium has been dag in the ground and natural light is brought inside modelling the ground with new embankments.
Thanks to a judicious orientation, a thick insulation, a green roof and sophisticated technologies (geothermal heating, photovoltaic panels, natural ventilation chimneys, BMS: building automation system) the school consumes only 3.6 kWh/mc/year, reaching the Italian Class A+ efficiency rating with a building cost of only 960 euro/sqm including furniture.
Location: Ponzano Veneto, Italy
Type: Educational – Public
Architects: C+S ASSOCIATI: Carlo Cappai, Maria Alessandra Segantini – www.cipiuesse.it
Floor area: 4.102 sqm
Building cost: 3.968.275,15 euro
Energy: 3.6 kWh/mc/year.
Society: designed with community participation
Cost: 960 euro/sqm