Dante Alighieri School Expansion / LTFB Studio

  • 21 Jan 2013
  • Educational Selected Works
© Cosmin Dragomir

Architects: LTFB Studio
Location: Bucharest,
Architect In Charge: Liviu Fabian, Lucian Luta
Project Manager: VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers
Structure: DUCTIL TECH
Installations: SOLID INSTALL
Developer: ACM 4
Photographs: Cosmin Dragomir

© Cosmin Dragomir

This intervention must be related to the context: the communist architectural legacy from before 1989 in Romanian cities, the gray suburbs and neighborhoods with standardized blocks , the specific urban landscape of Europe’s former socialist bloc. Due to excessive standardization, many blocks of flats in Bucharest are identical with some of the apartment buildings in places located hundreds of miles away, indifferent to the socio-cultural specificity.

© Cosmin Dragomir

The uniformity and the standardization resulted in very few types of educational buildings in the entire country and, as a result, for a period of nearly half of century only a number of 2 or 3 high schools types were produced . That’s why, the planimetry and volumetry of the existent building of Dante Alighieri High School can be found in almost every city of Romania.

© Cosmin Dragomir

In the last 23 years, very few educational buildings were built and the improvements of the existent buildings were generally limited to thermal coating together with the repainting of the façade, usually in inappropriate colors. Some of the interventions consisted in roofing the buildings with wooden structure regardless of the original functionalist conception of the building.

© Cosmin Dragomir

The idea of an extension of Dante Alighieri high school appeared mainly as an answer to the need of an integrated educational center that comprises after-school facilities and other activities related to the main educational purpose of the building. Some of these types of spaces and activities are chronically missing in most of the schools previously built in Romania.

© Cosmin Dragomir

The nonfunctional and degraded old swimming pool in the eastern part of the schoolyard was integrated in one of the new building’s volumes. Between the new swimming pool hall and the existent sports hall, the resulting space is used for the annexes of the two sport facilities and for an adjacent small sportive dance hall. This area of the intervention, together with the volume of the educational facilities located on the first and second floor, the multifunctional hall, the canteen and the upper terraces revolve around the inner patio, the central element of the intervention, a space designed to be an alternative to the concrete schoolyard located on the western side of the existing school.

© Cosmin Dragomir

The randomly perforated facade of the educational volume (already an usual approach in the contemporary architecture) should be read in a playful key, as a contrast to the uniformity and monotony of the existing facade. This “game with windows” seems a puzzle with pieces of the tree foliage and green light filtered through them, seen from the inside. The upper terraces at 1st and 2nd floor represent an extension of the recreational space, but could be used also as an extension of the educational space, for example as outdoor classrooms.

© Cosmin Dragomir

Although this type of approach is not usual for the educational program in Romania, it is to hope that the intervention could be assimilated as a better way of designing a school and maybe, some things will change in the way the next generation will perceive their built environment.


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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Dante Alighieri School Expansion / LTFB Studio" 21 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=321197>
  • AmrutSchool

    Nice blog and attractive information. I like your blog and your work. school building is very nice.

  • Razvan Munteanu

    I am living near this building and I only can congratulate both the architects and the developers for this new kind of approach. Indeed we really need to change our way of learning in the old comunists building schools. For more of these!

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