Ponzano Primary School / C+S Associati

© Alessandra Bello

Architects: C+S Associati / Carlo Cappai, Maria Alessandra Segantini
Location: Ponzano Veneto,
Project Team: F&M Ingegneria spa (structures, MEP, survey, work supervision, building security), Lorenzo Vittori (sustainabilty)
Project Area: 4,100 sqm
Project Year: 2008-2009
Photographs: Alessandra Bello, Pietro Savorelli &

Ponzano primary school: a ‘society building’

Inside the sprawl city which destroyed the Veneto Region, Ponzano Primary School is a small clot: part of the building (the gym space) is in fact accessible by everybody after the school time. In this sense the school becomes a meeting place for the people of Ponzano community.

floor plans 01
floor plans 02

Collective spaces are very important in this school project both in the plan concept (all spaces are gathered around a central square, memory of monastic cloisters, which, in the past were the places of knowledge conservation) and in the section concept, as all spaces face each other (though maintaing their specificity like the classrooms which are opaque untill cm 130 and above a glass lets children show their work to everybody) reflecting on transparent and coloured walls. This complexity reminds the Veneto model of industrial disticts where people are incited to learn from each others exchanging experiences.

The school becomes a ‘society building’, a space of possible multietnic exchange and comparison. It becomes a threshold, like it is ‘translation’ in Glissant’s words, a place were to keep together different languages in their specific meanings, were to keep together a landscape of memory and a landscape of contemporary.

© Alessandra Bello

In this project memory is represented by a remind to cultivation, the red coloured ‘barchessas’ of the Veneto Region (near to the Campo Baeza Ponzano Children which is read as a kind of Contemporary Villa). The contemporary is linked to Benetton Factories and their culture of good design and philosophy spreading colour democracy all over the world.

© Pietro Savorelli

In this sense the school architecture becomes the scenograpy of a dream (of a story would the children say) where the main characters are the children together with their teachers and the comunity around the school.

During the design phase we wrote and illustrated a story to explain the project to the children.

Ponzano primary school is designed for 375 children aged from 6 to 10. It has 15 classrooms and special classrooms for art, music, computer, languadge and science, a gym space, a canteen and a library.

© Alessandra Bello

On south-east and south-west elevation the classrooms face as they need to be as well-oriented as possible: in fact they are the spaces were children spend as much time as possible.

Sustainable and energy saving principles guided the design

Thanking to well-orientation, thick insulation, green roof and sophisticated technologies (geothermy, photovoltaic panels, natural ventilation chimneys, building automation system) the school consumes only 3,6 kwh/mc/year, corresponding to Class A+ of italian law with a building cost of 1.030 euros/square meter including furniture.

sustainable section
© Alessandra Bello

Ponzano primary school is a sustainable building in enegetic, social and cost control meaning.

  • Energy: Ponzano primary school consumes only 3,6 kwh/mc/year
  • Society: the design phase was partecipated with children and teachers
  • Cost control: The cost of the building including furniture is 980 euros/square meter

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Ponzano Primary School / C+S Associati" 26 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=74864>

6 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Again Italy with its lousy architecture, and wow! the made a diagram with sustainability, it is definetly sustainable now. If Terragni or Bramante would be alive they would prefer to die again to see how italians dont do architecture eny more

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It is true that Italian architecture is not that of past masters nowadays, but I wouldn’t call this effort lousy. Firstly, I was not impressed by the diagrams, that ‘model’, the perspective or the section. However there is promise in the sketches, in that there is an idea of collective relationships of children around a cloister. There is not much new here but I must respect the ambitions of the creator. They convey a strong sense of social contract in this project and have a strong desire to aid society unlike so much architecture today, as well as addressing sustainability somehow. They created a place for the community via the hall(picture?), and unlike other school projects documented here, are aware of the playfulness of children in the materiality and use of colour, as well as the classroom being quite pleasant.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    questa e una opera veramente de prima qualitá. Logica, semplice, rigorosa, precisa e bellissima.
    Congratulazione a gli architetti.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Siamo onorati di ricevere questo commento da un architetto di cui abbiamo profonda stima! E’ stata per noi una grande occasione poterci misurare con un’opera di qualità come l’asilo per Benetton.
      Alessandra e Carlo

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