The renovation project for a school in Turin rethinks it as a flexible engine, attracting and multiplying the energies of local communities.
The Factory of Culture
The renovation project of the Enrico Fermi school rises from a deep understanding of the industrious soul of Turin. A place of learning and a flexible engine able to catalyse the surrounding energies.
Initially conceived as an isolated element of the city, as a series of undifferentiated spaces, the Enrico Fermi school is redesigned in order to dissolve borders between the city and the school ensuring a dialog between didactic and experience, indoor and outdoor spaces, artificial and natural environment.
The school, placed in the heart of the city, becomes the stage where students, workers and citizens can identify themselves through a sequence of different spaces and materials making them live in a harmonious relationship.
The “Cantiere Cultura”, thanks to its iconic image, set itself as a cultural centre, pivot of a dynamic and lively landscape. The project revamps the elements of the historic and cultural heritage of the neighbourhood and presents itself as a landmark whose features are balanced against the immediate urban surroundings.
The Enrico Fermi school is located in a strategic point of the city, in an area in which urban transformations have already started with the Lingotto. The district has a strong productive nature and thanks to its position it has been subjected to many innovative changes. However, the actual building occupies the site in an introverted way and remains passive to the surrounding urban system.
The demolition of the two access ramps into a single entrance staircase establishes a new relationship with the surrounding city. The school transforms itself from a fenced-in, introverted container of knowledge into a dynamic square that attracts the energies of the neighbourhood. A podium raised 1.5 m above the ground level and connected by a wide staircase gives continuity to the public space. The large raised terrace enters the main spaces of the school, where the energies of the surrounding city converge, common spaces overlook and the public services open to the city find their place.
The areas of the central volume, shared by the school and the city, are an access point to culture for all ages. The new volumetric configuration of the complex is accompanied by the transformation of its architectural image. The central volume in painted metal, the gymnasium in exposed brick, the entrance staircase in conglomerate, enter into a dialectic relationship with the pure volumes of the teaching, both treated in an equivalent way: large windows framed by warm wooden frames, floor marker in concrete. The industrious city is mixed with the domestic and reflective dimension of the spaces where to develop the didactic activity.
The library, open to the city and located on the upper floor, can be reached from the school through an internal staircase; from the elevated entrance square, the iconic metal staircase provides access to the floor directly from outside the building. The large transparent portholes allow a continuous visual relationship between inside and outside.
The brick-clad gymnasium is renewed in the transparent openings that, placed in the basement, establish a continuity with the external space of the central courtyard, where sports activities extend during the warmer seasons. Its relationship with the outdoor space and its proximity to the music lab make it a suitable space to host school parties and collective events.
The cluster spaces provide students of different years with
a common, protected space to meet. Traditional classrooms can be reinterpreted through a flexible system of movable walls that allows for the merging of one into the other. The possibility of aggregating classrooms allows collegial lessons, transversal between years, on the modalities of the TEAL protocol of MIT Boston.
In addition to the classrooms, new informal spaces are added to provide flexibility to different teaching systems, moving from face-to-face lectures to “collaborative learning, workshops or outdoor classes. The common space is separated from the classrooms by a wall that multiplies the ways in which the space can be used on both sides. on both sides, integrating the furniture with seats and technological supports.
Interdisciplinarity is a concept that runs through the entire project. From the basement characterized by the presence and proximity of the laboratories of art and music to the multimedia and language laboratories in each floor of the clusters. This configuration responds to the need to create spaces of exchange between the different dimensions of human experience in a system that manages the variable permeability of the building depending on the moments of the day, while guaranteeing the safety of individual environments through a system of controlled openings.
- ProjectThe Factory of Culture
- PlaceTurin, IT
- ClientCompagnia di San Paolo
- Status2nd prize + Honourable mention
- CompetitionTorino fa scuola, International competition promoted by Compagnia di San Paolo
- Site Surface 4.380 sqm
- Built Surface 4.380 sqm
- Budget 7.500.000 €
- Consultant MEP: Ph.D. Ing Michele Angioletti; structural engineering: Ing. Pietro Boerio
- Photo Credit Riccardo Gusti, Federico Parenti, Luca Cozzani
- Maquette SEBA Lab-Sebastiano Conti Gallenti
- Team Laboratorio Permanente: Nicola Russi, Angelica Sylos Labini, Mario Ventilato, Marco di Forenza, Luca Cozzani, Francesca Lina Pincella, Alessandro Zanoletti, Giacomo Palomba, Alberto Ceriotti, Alberto Benetti Genolini, Gabriel Jakober