San Piero a Sieve School / Fabio Capanni Workshop

Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

The extension of the primary and secondary school in San Piero a Sieve is located very close to the city of .  The building consists of 630 square meters of new surfaces that will host the laboratories, the dean’s office, the offices for the scholastic staff, and an auditorium that works as an all-purpose space. Rooms and the gym will still be in the old buildings, built during the Sixties, and the new construction had also to connect to them.  More drawings and photographs following the break.

Architects: Fabio Capanni Workshop
Location: Florence, Italy
Design Team: Fabio Capanni, Claudio, Marrocchi
Collaborators: Stefano Servi
Structures: Riccardo Papi
Systems: Claudio Magni
Contractor: Edil F Due, Sacafati (SA)
Client: Municipality of San Piero a Sieve
Project Area: 2,600 sqm
Project Year: 2006-2008
Photographs: Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni


Being a public client the budget was extremely limited, but, as sometimes happens, the constraints partly became the force of the design. The outline of the building is drawn following the limits of the lot. To maintain a certain distance from the borders the construction acquires an irregular shape, made of inclined walls and irregular angles.

Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

The building is organized in two volumes: a first one with two perpendicular walls and a third curved side to embrace the rear volume. This second one has a straightforward wall and a skewed side, that follows the lot border; an irregular bevel angle is thus created, so that the opening is wider on one side of the wall than on the other. The result is a massive but changeable form.

Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

The choice of materials is a direct re-interpretation, a contemporary version, of the Tuscan tradition: pietra Serena, plaster, wood, and marble. The main structure is made by pietra Serena and plaster.

Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

The openings to the outside and the materials also reflect the surrounding. The white of the plaster and the grey color of the stone give to the building a special vigor thanks to the simplicity and strength of these materials.

Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

Colors make recognizable the straight walls form the sloped walls of the splayed window, the first being painted in white and the latter being in stone. Further details remind elements of the Tuscan tradition: between the first and the second floor an in-between space creates a kind of loggia; the promenade, following the curved wall, leads directly inside the building as an extension of the city and the communal space to the space dedicate to the public behind the curved wall, that hosts the auditorium and/or conference room. Some other interior alcoves are created inside the building as gathering points, according to the best Tuscan tradition of public outer spaces inside the space.

Christian Richters; © Fabio Capanni

From the gym, one should pass through a tiny corridor to enter the new building, arriving to the new space one is overwhelmed with light coming from the ceiling, from the full-height windows and from the extremely bright white of the interior space. The pattern of the openings reaches an asymmetric effect and is drawn from the inside towards the outside; so that the splayed windows are like small eyes opening towards the outside.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "San Piero a Sieve School / Fabio Capanni Workshop" 03 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • The Guy


  • 爬人


  • æon

    I think he wanted to avoid the symmetry of the rest of the buildings around.

  • Cole

    Does anyone think this bears a striking resemblance to Corbu’s Notre Dame du Haut?

    • Kris

      Have you ever seen Notre Dame du Haut? Other than a wall of odd-sized windows, there is no resemblance.

      • Cole

        Yeah, I have. The windows are certainly an element, but specifically the depth of the wall they’re set on. And the curvature of the wall with the staircase is reminiscent of Notre Dame. Hey man, just a casual observation.

  • up_today_arch

    To my oppinion these elevations are very nice… Very easy in constraction and strong idea… Looks both ancent assimetric style and very modern geometric solution…

  • Fudge

    was going to say exactly the same

  • jim manjooran

    very neat…I like it’s simplicity..clear thought…

  • jim manjooran

    very neat…I like it’s simplicity…clear thought…

  • Jim Boe

    A masterpiece in elevation and floor plan… Beautiful Grassi-like drawings…

  • Dennis

    very very nice!

  • arnold

    excelent work. concept ant art. very good.
    Recpect for Architect.