Mario Cucinella Architects won an Architectural Competition to design and build a new School in the Guastalla District (Reggio Emilia, Italy).
How were you commissioned?:
MCA project won the Architectural Competition held in February 2014 for the design and build of the new School in Guastalla District (Reggio Emilia, Italy).
What was the brief from the client and how much were they involved?:
The new building replace two existed schools damaged by the earthquake which stuck the territory in May 2012 and will host up to 120 boys and girls between 0 and 3 years old.
How did the brief affect the materials and design choices?:
Architectural elements of the new kindergarten by MCA - like the shape of the interior, their organization, the choice of materials, all the sensory perceptions related to the light, the colors, the sounds, the tactile suggestions - are designed taking into account of the pedagogical and educational related to the growth of the child.
How did your previous experience help you with this project?:
MCA designs and constructs Architectural projects that, through research, the use of innovative technologies, and professional skill, embody an ideal of architectural quality integrating environmental sustainability, ethics and a positive social impact.
Can you explain the layout of the project:
The structure involves the use of natural materials with low environmental impact. In particular, the supporting structure is made up of wooden frame: a safe and ideal material to keep the thermal insulation of the building. The high insulation, the optimal distribution of transparent surfaces, the use of advanced systems for rainwater harvesting and insertion of a photovoltaic system on the roof, will allow the building to minimize the use of mechanical equipment to meet the energy needs of the school. Areas of connection between the classrooms and laboratories are designed to be lived with curiosity and pleasure fpr children: along the route there are widening, play and relationship areas, niches where you can stop, transparent elements to watch out or peek activities the other children. Starting from the internal signs, it also articulated the sensory journey outside the building, which integrates the existing trees and encompasses the structure creating protected areas for the activities of the children, educators and parents.
What problems or challenges did you face?:
In a school the quality of the space is a central aspect of the education for the children: with their surroundings thay grow a much stronger emotional connection than adults because they live it with your whole body and give it a sense by odors, sounds, visual stimuli. Everything has to be designed thinking about it.
What do you feel were the most unusual design elements of the project?:
The structure involves the use of natural materials with low environmental impact. In particular, the supporting structure is made up of wooden frame: a safe and ideal material to keep the thermal insulation of the building.
How do you think this project is pushing design forward? What makes it special?:
The project is based on the simplicity of a wooden structure with large windows that allow the 'interaction between the closed areas of the classrooms and the outside gardening.
Suppliers Please provide details of product names and suppliers where possible.:
Structures: Geoequipe Studio Tecnico Associato Electrical and mechanical Design: Area Engineering srl Acustic: Ing. Enrico Manzi ATI: Construction Works: Scisciani e Frascarelli Impresa Edile Wooden Structure: Rubner Holzbau SpA Suppliers: Saitec Company srl Doors and Windows: Promo SpA