PROJECT Reclamation of an area known as the former Brickworks for the creation of a secondary school, theatre and an office building
ARCHITECT Pietro Carlo Pellegrini Architetto
LOCATION Riccione, Italy
PHOTO Mario Ciampi Fotografo
The project concerns the reclamation of a former Brickworks in Riccione, an industrial complex for producing bricks built in 1908 and decommissioned in 1970. The area of the whole intervention is 40,000 mq; the covered surface is 3,400mq.
Old purposes give way to new ones, exploiting the existing spatial possibilities while maintaining the outer shell of the old factory as a historical memory of the place: inside it a secondary school with 18 classes for 450 students will be created, a multi-purpose theatre with 650 seats and office headquarters as well as the organization of the external spaces. The project aims to reduce the environmental impact to the minimum, hence the choice of replacing the old buildings with new ones boasting a high level of energy efficiency.
The secondary school comprises a section with one floor and a second connected section on two floors. The classrooms are reached by a main corridor; the administration area, staff room and library are divided from the sports area by vertical connections at all levels.
On one hand the intervention is characterized by the reclamation and enhancement of the existing masonry elements while on the other there is the desire to distinguish the new elements from the old ones, maintaining a compositional coherence throughout the intervention. Outside, the brise soleil in brick elements establish the homogeneous backdrop of the original architectural forms, using traditional materials in an innovative way: they give unity to the whole composition and at the same time they underline the existing brickwork. Covering the upper section of the main building is a series of Polonceau type metal trusses, a double timber substrate, an insulating layer and a roof in flat tiles; above the gym a terrace is covered by a transparent brise soleil thus creating uniformity with the school’s main body.
In the theatre the terracotta brise soleil has the function of creating a semiventilated wall which is also able to provide the duotone effect expressed as a mandatory requirement, creating uniformity in the intervention and where necessary, hiding the rear openings and standardizing the distribution situation.
The theatre is thus presented as a monolithic and monumental block with windows and openings set into and concealed in the brise soleil façade system. The areas reserved for the public have a pitched roof with a succession of flat tiles while the working areas will have practical flat roofs. Structurally, the top layer is made of Polonceau type metal trusses. In terms of architecture and communication the square and the entrance area are the most significant elements.
A necessary feature for managing the flow of people is a kind of extension to the foyer, a metaphysical place crowned on both sides by two long seats in Pietra serena, like the interior flooring. At the entrance a steel and glass compass enhances the existing facade in all its original aspects of integration and change; a kind of display case that deliberately “shows” the symbolic and representative value of the archaeological reclamation of the former factory.
The two buildings of the school centre, whose technical aspects are cutting edge, sit easily with the ruins of the former brickworks.
PIETRO CARLO PELLEGRINI IS SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR OF THE POST-GRADUATE MASTER FOR DESIGN OF PUBLIC SPACE BASED IN LUCCA. HE HAS BEEN A PROFESSOR AT THE ARCHITECTURE FACULTIES OF GENOA AND FERRARA AND HE HAS HELD A NUMBER OF WORKSHOPS AT THE FACULTIES OF ARCHITECTURE OF DELFT, NAPLES AND VENICE.
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