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2006 Rome, Italy – Prato Smeraldo school complex

Client: City of Rome

Competition “Meno è più 1” International Restricted competition, 2006

1st Prize

Site area: 9.000 sqm

Total floor area: 3.740 sqm


The new school complex rises like hamlet from parkland planted with olive trees and surrounded by walls which follow the natural incline of the land. The latter has been kept like a patch of natural landscape on which the three buildings rest, at different levels. Three compact blocks with a stereo metric configuration are set around an internal square, common to both schools. It is a playground for children, a meeting and waiting area for parents and becomes an urban area during school holidays. Besides the square and gardens, the auditorium, canteen, gym and library are also transformed into community areas. The compact volumes, the light and ventilation towers, the flat roofs, which are perforated by slits so as to allow for controlled natural light to filter through into the common areas, the transparent partitions, which seem to extend the classrooms into the garden, and additional technological choices made such as the use of solar equipment and low energy technologies have contributed to an exemplary environmentally sustainable building. The geometry and modular layout of the space allows the classrooms and laboratories to be set up according to various current and future educational needs.