The project for the new school complex in the municipality of Marene stems from a long and careful reflection on the area where the small town is located.
Marene is located within the large agricultural territorial system in the vast Piedmontese plain, a territory with a long history of which it is possible to find traces through the many architectural artifacts that dot the plain: villages, castles, religious complexes, farmhouses.
Following the careful observation of the territory, the idea that will constitute the outline on which the project was conceived and designed arose. It was almost natural to reflect on farmhouses and on the concept of "micro" agricultural-rural settlements for the connections that we can find with the theme of the competition. Cascina as a self-contained settlement, a closed system but at the same time inevitably open and connected to the territory.
In fact, the school building, following the settlement principle of the farmhouses, is designed as a single linear system that shapes the external spaces such as courtyards and widenings. The shape of the new building fits into the context as a linear system which takes shape through a large roof that draws the edge of the school, holding the various parts of the building together. The parts are single, functionally defined blocks that arrange themselves freely under the roof. The final layout of the project emerges as an extremely recognizable and immediately interpretable element: a series of elementary blocks arranged over the area held together by a single roof with a linear layout.
The interaction with the existing fabric therefore offers a double key to understanding the building, depending on whether one focuses on the design of the roof or that of the blocks.
The project is conceived as a single-storey building, exploiting the entire extension of the lot to create an effective urban connection and avoiding the creation of an architectural artifact that constitutes an isolated case, aiming to dialogue with the surrounding building curtains.
The large pitched roof, with a plastic shape and a highly iconic profile, is placed on the blocks and also covers the empty space between them. The void is the connective space, circulation space, informal and dynamic space that contrasts with the static and logical space of the blocks. The connective is separated from the outside by long windows, in fact the school appears "dematerialized" in many fragments to allow a new and innovative transparency and permeability.
This choice allows you to look beyond the limits of the building and constantly have an internal-external connection between the school and the city.
The new school is conceived as a small village, where the child can identify with it and recognize it as their own place. The scale of the intervention tends to be familiar and measured on the basis of the children's own sensory horizon, for a better perception of space. The blocks are freely arranged along the trace of the roof, they rotate slightly on themselves defining ever-changing paths, never uniform or regular to stimulate the senses.
The strong transparency of the building, present along the connecting space and inside the blocks, allows almost total visibility of the building, its internal and external spaces and above all allows a continuous visual relationship with the city. In this way the child is well aware of being within a specific context, as concrete as the country in which he lives.
The classrooms are in strong connection both with the garden, thanks to large windows that can be opened, and with the informal space of the connective, thanks to equipped modular walls that can be modified if necessary to extend the teaching space beyond the classic limit of the classroom. Spaces therefore flexible and changeable according to educational needs.
The informal spaces of the connective are designed to host unprecedented moments and training opportunities, they also encourage social exchanges by helping to build a sense of community. The idea of the "corridor" as an exclusive place of passage to be traveled quickly is canceled here. In fact, we find an architectural promenade, a sort of "story", which crosses the entire school building, made up of atriums, open spaces, views towards the greenery and populated by movable furnishings for an ever new and stimulating use.