Realization by X-lam constructive technology of, a kindergarten and a primary school in the former railway area of ​​Aulla - lot 1
Architectural design with Studio Fagnoni Associati, Florence - GPA Engineering, Florence

Client: INSO s.p.a., Florence

In the general organization of the area chosen for the realization of the school grounds, nursery buildings, kindergartens, primary schools and refectory are located in sub-compartment 1. The sub-compartment 1 is located north of sub-compartment 2 in which Are located in the middle school and high school; The two polygons will be connected by a pedo-bicycle connection consisting of a linear park. The area is in direct connection with the urban center of Aulla and is close to business and city services.


The kindergarten and nursery school building was designed to maintain the general layout provided for in the preliminary project, since it considered the accessibility issue unreserved, without architectural barriers for both schools, as well as the relationship with the spaces External and orientation. The internal distribution is essentially unchanged, even in the search for structural optimization due to the different logic of the x-lam carrying panels compared to the concrete structure. The layout of the building is divided into three functional bands: the main boulevard, with classrooms and spaces for activities, in direct contact with the outside spaces, the technical band, centrally placed, with toilets and storage facilities, the distribution line; On the north head of both schools there is the entrance hall, the refectory and staff areas. The floor height has been reduced, bringing it from 4.00 to 3.60 m, partly by moving the maternal rate to 1.40 m and eliminating the height difference in the court, partly by reducing the height overall of the building.

Nursery school
The salient elements of the definitive project are:
1) direct access to the school: from the parking of the schools to the west and the linear park you reach the school through a pedestrian path with slope less than 8%;
2) internal usability without staircase: the entire ground floor (level +140) is dedicated to school; there are no barriers to the usability of spaces; the personal spaces has also been made accessible to people with disabilities;
3) Functional without waste: Spatial dimensioning has been corrected, leading to a reduction of the covered surface of about 140 square meters, seeking maximum surface optimization and partition realignment in the structural steps to adapt to the Xlam constructive system;
4) Favorable orientation and passive solar protection: the school has all the principal spaces on the west face, in the court enclosed by the buildings of Lot 1, which it finds the outside spaces directly accessible from the classrooms; the solar protection of the building is of a passive type, avoiding the use of shaded furniture that is difficult to manage in a public structure and expensive to mainten. In summer, shading is ensured by the roof and by trees facing the classrooms; In winter, leaking leaves ensures the passage of sunlight to allow the solar gain, favored by the large windows of the classrooms;
5) the design strategy has been aimed at promoting natural cross ventilation: for this reason, two courts on the east side have been added, with the dual function of illuminating the corridor and favoring a "chimney effect";
6) The free activity room has been positioned at the bottom of the school to allow for optimization of the structural step and to devote one of the courts that guarantee transverse lighting and ventilation; The room has also been equipped with a small winter garden, with the function of thermal buffer and green space, even in case of bad weather; In the mild seasons this space can be opened to create functional continuity with the outside garden.
From an architectural and functional point of view, the highlights of the definitive project are:
1) direct access to the school: from the municipal road to the east, where there is a small parking for fast stop;
2) internal usability without stairs: the entire first floor (level +500) is dedicated to the nursery;
3) Functional without waste: see point 3 of Nursery school;
4) Favorable orientation and passive solar protection: the nursery has all the prominent faces on the east side, while the administrative spaces enjoy zenith lighting from skylights; Due to the frequency and delicacy of hygiene tasks related to the care of newborns, it was considered appropriate to provide toilet facilities for natural light, which ensures excellent visibility and, if necessary, effective ventilation. 
5) the accessory spaces (storage and wheelchair storage) have been placed differently because of the optimization of the surfaces, by joining the storage room to the central "technical band" and placing the wheelchair storage outside, accessible from the entrance loggia;
6) The nursery corridor, a place where many young people move their first steps, was conceived as a small discovery and growth path with colored windows of different sizes placed at different heights;
7) The flat cover at the level of +5.00 m, so circumscribed and protected, is suitable as a small educational garden, while the common space shared by the three sections, in continuity with the rooms, is located on the east side. The layout of the building's reflections reflects the internal distribution scanning, with the alternation of large fixed glass mirrors, windows that open and colored opaque parts, inside of which are embedded fire doors. The desire to amplify the illuminating surface is born from the dual objective of ensuring an interior daylighting; The absence of opaque parapet also allows the youngest to traverse the boundaries of the room to the garden in front of them; The wooden fixtures and the façade with simple painted colored plaster finish are protected by weather by a generous gutter, drawing the outline of the overall volume of the building. The roof is laid flat with gravel, surrounded by a parapet, to accommodate and conceal both air treatment machines and solar photovoltaic and solar panels.
In general, the architectural language sought is that of a "Mediterranean simplicity" with the use of color, clean volumes and strong characterization of the eaves, a typical element of traditional architecture which is retrieved for its essential protection against weather and sun.

The preliminary design facility was maintained only with regard to the sediment, radically modifying both the layout and the internal distribution, and partly reducing the covered surface to the advantage of the school garden. The reasons behind the changes introduced were:
1. The need to adapt the layout, conceived for a chassis structure, to a structural system with Xlam bearing panels.
2. The will to have all the main classrooms with a southern exposure; For this reason the classrooms have been joined together to uniform and equip them with homogeneous and qualified faces on the south face, towards the garden of the school.
3. Choosing to place the polyvalent hall in a location next to the entrance; The new location, coupled with disengagement compared to the school areas and the provision of autonomous services, allows the use of this space autonomously, even at extracurricular timetables and even the rental / loan of the venue for birthday parties or recreational activities.
4. The path simplification strategy and the search for linearity, defining a single visible vertical link in the proximity of the atrium, guarded by the guardian; all the classrooms are lined up and flanked on the south face, as well as all the special areas, services and adult rooms are lined up on the north face.
5. The possibility of defining the connection with the refectory at the former electric station to avoid the use of the long staircase of this building and the promiscuity with the kitchen spaces, seats on the ground floor.
6. In this case too, the design strategy has been aimed at promoting natural cross ventilation, in order to reduce the cooling demand especially in the spring months; Skylights on the north exposed to this function, generating a ventilation for 'chimney effect' and increasing the daylighting of the foreground classrooms, with a contrastless and uniform light.
7. Lastly, the choice to amplify the usual entrance transforming it into a large winter garden, with the triple function of thermal buffer to protect ground floor airstrons and first (generally colder spaces), '' Foyer '' / disengagement of the multifunctional hall and of real outdoor space covered with vegetation and protected by the weather and the rigors of winter; This volume, thanks to the reduction of the covered surface of 120 square meters, becomes the distributor's school pin, gives visibility to the entrance, enhances the space of the staircase, becomes a point of passage at different times of the day: entrance, exit, recreation.

The functional layout reflects these choices, highlighting three bands: the main classroom, located south in direct continuity with the outer space, the central distribution band, the sanitary facilities and the secondary spaces in the north.

Even in the primary school, the principle of the scanning of the faces was rattled by large fixed mirrors, openable doors and colored opaque panels, crowned by a prominent eardrum with dual protection from rain and summer sun. Even in this case, the eaves provides a passive solar protection without the need for adjustment of mobile shields, preventing direct irradiation in summer and allowing it in winter, maximizing the solar gain.

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