Light, colors and flexible spaces: a new school in Bologna under a suspended sheet

Pubblicato
17.6.24
Lettura
2 min
3 min

©Walter Vecchio

There are nearly 1,000 children in total, divided between elementary and middle school, all under a large roof that, “suspended overhead like a protective sheet, gathers together all the functions of the complex, creating continuity between all the different functional spaces." With this, Mario Cucinella Architects explains Campus KID, a new educational center which is already listed among the most anticipated architectures of 2024, designed for children aged 6 to 14 in San Lazzaro di Savena, in the province of Bologna. It’s a unified system, the designers specify, where children are accompanied on their path through a custom-made architecture and a vegetal structure that, once inside, becomes a space dedicated to play and moments of relaxation. Lived throughout the day, once curricular activities have ended, the building opens up to the community, converting its classrooms and auditorium from places of study to those for public activities.

©Walter Vecchio
©Walter Vecchio

In the foothills of San Lazzaro, the Campus KID project takes on territorial value by serving as a link between the suburban area in the southeast and the rest of the town. “A response to the fragmentation of the city,” explains the design studio, which makes the hub an important element for contemporary urban planning. Architecturally, with its wide and sinuous roof, the building consists of two volumes: one newly constructed for the elementary school and the other a pre-existing structure for the middle school which was remodeled and expanded by MCA. Holding the two indivisible cores together is their beating heart: a central Agora space with its circular and domestic forms, designed to alleviate the tension of the young students with an architecture that’s collected, reassuring, colorful and full of light.

©Walter Vecchio
©Walter Vecchio

"Colours, light, dynamic and flexible spaces, courtyards, gardens, and contact with nature: these ingredients provide an ideally reassuring environment where younger children and middle school children can grow intellectually and physically." Eliminating corridors, the school is presented as a succession of environments that accompany the child on their personal path to growth, in interiors as well as the exteriors. The project presents a new model for an educational hub, no longer to be seen as a simple building but as "the foundation on which the future of society is built," says Cucinella. Diversification of teaching and new learning settings were the main requirements when conceiving and designing the spaces of Campus KID, articulated according to three fundamental elements. First and foremost, relationships and sharing, followed by laboratory work.

©Walter Vecchio
©Walter Vecchio

In fact, the elementary school is divided into thematic spaces, with the intention of enticing the youngest children to explore. With this in mind, spaces for individual and group learning — including the library and labs for art, multimedia and science — become essential. The third aspect is that of multipurpose environments, accommodating different users throughout the day, from children to members of the local community, with spaces dedicated to music or sports facilities, whose main fields will be approved by CONI. Beyond the canonical learning spaces, the education of children and adolescents continues outdoors, in the teaching area and towards the public park that are part of the landscape design for Campus KID. Informal learning areas have also been designed for students, from the learning garden to play spaces, where they can cultivate, learn and experiment while touching the earth. "The open spaces," the designers conclude, "are therefore not only designed for teaching, but also as comfortable and aesthetically rewarding situations for children, teens and adults to spend relaxing moments after a lesson and gather new energy.”

©Walter Vecchio