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The Court Of The Trees, Cenate Sotto, Italy

Tuesday 28 Feb 2012

Elementary design

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13/03/12 Jay Matthews, England
So poetic and emotional architecture, just unusual for a young architect

Award Entry

Tomas Ghisellini Architects completes new primary school among the hills 

Careful to address the delicate relations of cohabitation, especially with the close cemetery, the architecture of the new primary school chooses the path of simplicity, rejecting any unnecessary formal presentation, and sets up in a relationship of dependence and exchange rather than assertion. The building, which is generated by the composition of elementary volumes made of exposed brick and white plaster, shows massive fronts to the streets, facades that are invisibly cut by hidden windows and openings.

A discreet and essential architectural language, builds the old impression of a 'defensive' construction for which a compact and seemingly impenetrable basement is in charge of contact with the continuous urban land. With a substantial inversion, the project builds on the court of the trees transparent surfaces and glass walls giving all the main spaces of the school the straight view of the garden and hills beyond.

Getting into the foyer, visitors have immediate perception of the overall shape of the building at once looking at the large double-height lobby, the courtyard, the set of classrooms, the core of the offices for administration and teachers, the mineral patio (an outdoor patio, shaded and paved), the security point, the vertical distributions and further, beyond the window overlooking the garden, the volumes of the dining hall and the gym.

Classrooms visually communicate with the court through large windows protected by an outer diaphragm made by vertical thin elements. Special labs at the first floor provide pupils with interesting atmospheric spaces for which a spectacular three-dimensional ceiling catches light and air from the sky. A large outdoor terrace offers children an attractive room on the outside for educational, recreational and playful activities. While overlooking the courtyard and facing the green hills, the belvedere offers a wide and dry artificial soil usable for teaching, formative or even only institutional and representative events all year long.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Tomas Ghisellini Architects

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