Sustainable School Design
This design entry for two public schools in the town of Merano, in Trentino Italy focused on social, urban and symbolic relevance of the school within its community. The asymmetry of the site has been used to our advantage to place the smaller school in the narrower end of the plot and the larger school at the other end. Thus placed, the two schools could be effectively occupy the space leaving a large public square in the centre of the “C” shaped courtyard. The public space, being raised from the ground allowed the incorporation of plant, storage and services underneath.
Exposed concrete is used in the external and more public face of the school whilst a naturally treated fir-timber bris-soleil wraps the more intimate elevations around the internal courtyard. Standardisation and off site manufacturing have been embedded in the construction methods to reduce costs and CO2 emissions. Both internal and external materials have been selected to provide the highest level of thermal mass to save energy levels during both the cold and the hot seasons.
The entrance space has been designed to provide flexible accommodation for group work, peer reviews and interactive teaching. The triple height space will benefit from abundant daylight and a specific acoustic design thus providing the beating heart and social hub for the new school.