NEW HIGH & PRIMARY SCHOOL CAMPUS – La Storta, Roma
St. George’s School launched a competition for designing a new extension to their existing complex. The competition was addressed to a small number of practices and NOS Design was invited to participate in collaboration with EA3 Engineers and B4 Architects.
The existing site originally contained a landscaped courtyard that failed to maintain its inherent role as the main compositional element of the school, as found in British garden traditions.
The concentration of meeting points to the northern central part, and the lack of activity in the other parts, inspired the challenge for a new approach: to develop the existing school courtyard into a contemporary creative environment, both metaphorically and practically concentrated on enclosed spaces, which are at once squares, meeting and focal points.
All the parts of the school are organized for learning, to overcome the opposition between traditional teaching space and service space: corridors dilate to have informal places of study and gathering places for the community. Setting out of the L-shaped school unit, the use of space starts becoming a hybrid of public and semi-public use, that is bringing together mixed activities: the main hall to the auditorium in the ground floor, the teachers’ area in the upper floor and services both for the students, teachers and visitors.
The auditorium, having a distinctive faceted form, in a grid distorted, detached orientation, it becomes a new contemporary icon in the school complex, a strong architectural connotation of the place. The interior space of the auditorium with its defused daylight and systems of acoustic control, creates the scene of an emotional, atmospheric space. The system of skylights on the roof can modulate the natural light, allowing natural light as dominant in the space and optimizing the use of artificial light.
The new longitudinal gallery is a connection path and acts also as an exhibition space: the place where art and culture are produced and hosted. It represents the link between the old and the new school spaces, creating conditions of circulation and fluidity, both horizontal and vertical connectivity, allowing students, professors and visitors to wander upon various levels.
USE: School+Auditorium SIZE: 10 000 m2 PLACE: Via Cassia SNC, Roma YEAR: 2015 MISSION: Re-Generation, Re-Vitalization, Culture, Learning, Meeting