Design concept based on development and historical transformation of the urban fabric.
The design was inspired by the historical transformation of the lot, and it is composed of one main volume around the nodal point (main point), and one smaller volume in the existing gap that is attached to the façade of the high school, that is also used as the central staircase. One of the main goals of the design was preserving the Virgilio High School’s elevations, while also designing the new building that creates a common language between the two buildings.
The two most interesting elements in this design are: the passage that is going through the building and connects two neighborhoods together; and the other element is, the nodal point that is a public area and an urban void that will be knotted in the middle. Then the idea of having this void become the courtyard between these two buildings, created a relationship and a strong connection between the buildings, and also to the city.
The rationale of using the existing high school as a tool / urban element, develops and redefines the city, while also creating a new connection between 2 previously separated neighborhoods.
This new extension is following the Italian-rationalist style of the 1930-40s, just as the original school was designed, and this design implies the complete devotion to logical, functional, and mathematically ordered architecture. And one of the most important aspects and characteristics of Italian-rationalist buildings is to reveal the structure in terms of basic shapes, elements, and materials.
The Venetian blinds (vertical louvers) became the most prominent elements for the main façade’s design, which is also facing the Tiber River. The motivation initially was to always emphasize the functionality of this main façade. These blinds are not only controlling the natural light inside the classrooms, but it also creates a rhythm and harmony on the façade
Then a wide entrance, with a height of the first three floors, was the main element in designing the façade. This entrance is an invitation to the city, a focal point for visitors, and it emphasize the creation of a connection between the building and the existing urban fabric.