1-School L’Aquila
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School Complex “The School I’d like”
L’Aquila, Italy
2017 Competition

There is a need to create a friendly and welcoming place for children, beyond the monotonous and impersonal schemes too often seen in traditional school buildings; on the other hand, we are faced with a challenge and an opportunity to create a school complex open to the city, a real Civic Centre, perfectly integrated into the surrounding socio-urban-environmental context without, however, undermining the delicate existing balances, but indeed improving them.
We decided to concentrate all teaching activities in a single building occupying the west area of the available plot. This solution also increases the energy efficiency and management of the building by gathering all functions under one roof.
Aiming to create an open and multi-faceted school, the first design approach was to clearly define the masterplan, dividing outdoor areas into school activities (protected, controlled, safe) and public zones, allowing the school to organize extracurricular events (sporting events, conferences, concerts, exhibitions and more) open to the community without having to interfere with the school’s own activities.
The proposed architectural layout will enable the creation of a structure in which all spaces are effectively linked to each other, with independent access, and adequately divided and protected, thus enabling multi-purpose and safe use of the school complex by all its users.
The new building takes on both functional and symbolic importance (all under one roof) with a large green roof (including photo-voltaic panels) that will become the identity of the new school. The profile of the roof reminds of the mountain profiles in the background as a clear and important cultural reference specific to the place.
The school has a radial layout with the Agora (as a central space of exchange) at the centre, the heart of every activity. All the classrooms are located around the perimeter in an order that responds to the different solar exposure connecting the central space with the garden. The Agora is thought to be a covered square, a viable and flexible place where teaching activities with small groups can be carried out and inspire pupils by promoting innovative and interactive teaching methods.
In the Agora is also located the library, designed as a re-configurable and flexible toolbox, with elements and wheel libraries that can be moved around based on educational needs, stimulating students’ interest in reading.

TEAM
Maurizio Mucciola, Maria-Chiara Piccinelli, Daria A. Moussavi, Felix Varaschini
Landscape: ASLandscape
Structure: APM ENGINEERING
Services and Sustainability: DEERNS Italy