Architects: Randić & Turato / Saša Randić and Idis Turato
Location: City of Krk, Island Krk, HR, Croatia
Project team: Leora Dražul, Marko Derenčinović, Zvonimir Sabljak (site supervision)
Contractor: G.P., Krk
Client: City of Krk
Site area: 5,575 sqm
Total built surface: 4,300 sqm
Design year: 2003
Construction date: 2005
Photographs: Robert Leš
Elementary school “Fran Krsto Frankopan” in the city of Krk is situated on north-east corner of the medieval town.
Decision to locate the school within the medieval city was intensly discussed within the community and the city council. The central issue of the discussion was of course the dilema where to locate the building: within the city center, on the site of the existing school where everyone was used to have the school, or in the outskirts, where the school would have a larger area and better accessibility, but it lacked the specific character of the existing location. Finally, the decision to position the school was followed with an invited competition, where the whole community has participated in the choice of the project. This project is a winning entry from this competition.
Scale of the intervention in proportion to the size of the town made it an urban project.
First important element was the relation to the city wall. The idea of replacing the existing school with the new one was in part generated by the Monument Protection Department, that wanted to change the existing skyline of the city dominated by the late 19th century school building. At the same, construction of the new school has enabled archeological research and reconstruction of the city wall.
This context meant that the new building had to be recessed as much as possible from the fortification and respect the skyline where the fortification and the churches were the most important elements.
The building is follows the property limits and the terrain topography, resulting in a broken Z-shape. The facade has no architectural elements. It is defined with the shadow of cantelivered pre-fabricated concrete elements, creating a frame around the first floor. Classrooms are facing the city wall and the space in-between: the younger ones are on the ground floor having the court in front of the classrooms, and the older ones have the view over the wall on the first floor.
The second issue concerning the positioning of the school was its relation with the urban matrix. Size of the contemporary school in proportion to the size of the medieval city had the imminent danger that the school would be too big to fit in. For that reason the school was conceived as a part of the city, erasing the borders between the public space and school areas, making school a part of the city. Street and square are transformed in the school territory: with gym on the other side, the school opens to the street with the main entrance and its public elements: multipurpose hall and restaurant, engaging reciprocal relationship between the street and the school. Public territory is used as a school territory at the same time. Path along the fortification, to the east of the school, is also open to the public leading from the school garden on the north to the nursery on the south.
Street façade, unlike the one facing the wall, is defined with the characteristic contextual elements: flat profilation and coloured plaster, with internal colours exiting on the façade and different granulation of the plaster defining the proportion of this façade.
The roof of the building is covered with chunks of the local stone that are in the same size as in divisory walls on the island. The same stone was evidently used for the fortification and is also used in the prefabricated elements on the school, either casted in the retaining walls or as a granulate in the façade elements, giving the concrete the same colour of the stone.
Two beams of the Z-shape volume are connected in the entrance hall. Hall has double height, connecting the floors with the ramps and further to the corridors. Internal corridors, following the irregural sloap of the terrain, have been interpreted as an extension of the town streets, following the conception that the school is a part of the city.