Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

This open access book presents theoretical and practical research relating to the vast, publicly financed program for the construction of new schools and the reorganization of existing educational buildings in Italy. This transformative process aims to give old buildings a fresh identity, to ensure that facilities are compliant with the new educational and teaching models, and to improve both energy efficiency and structural safety with respect to seismic activity. The book is divided into three sections, the first of which focuses on the social role of the school as a civic building that can serve the needs of the community. Innovations in both design and construction processes are then analyzed, paying special attention to the Building Information Modeling (BIM) strategy as a tool for the integration of different disciplines. The final section is devoted to the built heritage and tools, technologies, and approaches for the upgrading of existing buildings so that they meet the new regulations on building performance. The book will be of interest to all who wish to learn about the latest insights into the challenges posed by, and the opportunities afforded by, a comprehensive school building and renovation program.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Urban and Social Role of School Buildings

Frontmatter

Open Access

The Open-Air School Typology in the Milanese Experience: The Trotter and the Rinnovata Pizzigoni

Abstract
This text investigates the particular typology of open-air schools in Milanese architecture in relation to similar experiences in modern European architecture from Unification until the 1930s.
Enrico Bordogna

Open Access

The Topic of the School Building in the Milanese Professionalism

Abstract
The question of the relationship between modern architecture and civil themes and of technological experimentation takes on a central role in the school building projects in which, between the 1950s and 1960s, Arrigo Arrighetti, Roberto Menghi and Ignazio Gardella, among others, are involved. The Milanese architects often addressed the issue in the absence of a definite place of intervention and work mainly on flexible systems, adopting the pavilion as the main element of the construction, that allow adaptations, expansions and transformations of the functional program. They experienced innovative technological solutions, such as the prevalent use of prefabricated elements, light metal structures, technological details derived from industrial plants.
Michele Caja, Martina Landsberger, Angelo Lorenzi

Open Access

Space and Figuration of the School Building in the Construction of the Metropolitan Periphery: The School as a Social Emancipation Workshop

Abstract
The research concerns the study of settlement forms for school buildings and their susceptibility to becoming public places and centres for aggregation. In particular, schools are analysed here as the set-up of a larger project of social redemption in the metropolitan suburbs. The paper analyses a possible approach to the problem in a situation in which the architectural design of space for education does not renounce the covering of a polygenetic role in the layout of the contemporary city.
Domenico Chizzoniti

Open Access

Imagining the School of the Future

Abstract
The idea of school has always merged architecture and pedagogy into a unique body, and its existence is characterised by the close relationship between the definition of an appropriate space for those who inhabit the places of education on a daily basis, and a precise educational model suitable for contemporary society and capable of inventing educational spaces for the present and the near future through a consistent transcription of knowledge modes. In school, individuality and universality become one thing and find the balance required for identifying and understanding diversities within the common needs; a community of original objects turned out by hand, who are never the same even if they all are human beings. School architecture represents the concrete opportunity to long for shapes capable to reflect a precise teaching model. In this way, it provides an honest interpretation of all the needs at the basis of a multifaceted theme, with all the peculiarities, the individual accents and the controversies that accompany major transformations occurred over a limited of time. Today’s definition of school buildings confirms the uncontrolled frailty and the contradictory and fragmented meanings that characterises contemporary architecture as a whole, no matter what the specific function. In this new transition season, we don’t see any consistent attempt to reconsider the principles of a branch of knowledge which seems consumed the speed at which figurative possibilities arise. Forty years ago, typological research was abandoned in favour of partial experiments on management and energy issues.
Massimo Ferrari, Claudia Tinazzi, Annalucia D’Erchia

Open Access

Modernist Schools in the New Rural Landscape of the Pontine Plain

Abstract
Based on a research and fieldwork carried out in the framework of the EU-funded research project MODSCAPES (Modernist Reinventions of the Rural Landscape, funded under HERA JRP III call “Uses of the Past”, Oct. 2016–2019), this contribution focuses on the case study of the Pontine Plain. In the 1930s, as part of Mussolini’s ruralization policy, the vast swampy area was converted into a neatly designed countryside hinged on a hierarchy of villages and medium-sized towns such as Littoria (1932), Sabaudia (1934), Pontinia (1935), Aprilia (1936) and Pomezia (1938). How did architecture contribute in shaping a new “place identity”? This chapter questions the role of schools as fundamental collective buildings, helping the settlers put down roots. School buildings offered architects scope to experiment with new spatial layouts and architectural expressions aimed at the widest possible understanding.
Francesca Bonfante, Nora Lombardini, Emanuela Margione, Luca Monica

Open Access

Rural and Urban Schools: Northern Greece in the Interwar Period

Abstract
Modernism—as cultural and artistic expression of modern core values—is often associated with urban and industrial contexts, in stark contrast to a “backward countryside”. Focusing on modernist reinventions of the rural landscape, MODSCAPES (funded under HERA JRP III call “Uses of the Past”, Oct. 2016–2019) specifically questions these preconceived ideas. In different political and ideological contexts agricultural development schemes carried out in Europe during the twentieth century were pivotal experiments in nation-building policies. In addition, they provided a common testing ground for the ideas, and tools, of environmental and social scientists, architects and engineers, planners and landscape architects, as well as artists. This contribution presents the case study of Northern Greece, focusing on rural and urban schools as a key architectural theme, called upon to express the founding values of a collective identity. The dialectic between tradition and innovation, eclecticism and modernism, uncovers its meaning case by case.
Cristina Pallini, Aleksa Korolija, Silvia Boca

Open Access

The Schools as Heritage and a Tool for Political and Cultural Integration. The Buildings of the Plan de Edificación Escolar in Buenos Aires

Abstract
The school buildings represent an important testimony to the social and cultural policies adopted in geographically and historically determined contexts. Today, these complexes constitute a broad and diversified patrimony, largely worthy of protection and enhancement. In the framework of a wider research program with Universidad de Belgrano-Buenos Aires, this chapter presents the results of a research about the 43 schools built in Buenos Aires between 1885 and 1904 as an implementation of the Plan de Edificación Escolar, showing how the school architecture can constitute a tool for the social and cultural integration, and simultaneously a decisive element to outline the face of the great Capital federal.
Maria Pompeiana Iarossi, Cecilia Santacroce

Open Access

Origins and Development of the American Campus: The “Academical Village” of Thomas Jefferson

Abstract
The study intends to analyze the many influences that led Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, to conceive and realize a very innovative project for universities in America. The research, started many years ago and still ongoing, is based on the very large amount of original documents and on the ever-growing bibliography. It was carried out partly in the USA, thanks to funding from the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through this, relationships were established with other institutions, such as the New York University Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and the School of Architecture of the University of Virginia.
Mariacristina Loi

Open Access

Bovisa: A Park for Work and Research

Abstract
Some projects for the “Goccia di Bovisa” (Drop) area and the neighbouring district are shown here: they fall within the urban transformation areas of the Milanese Territorial Government Plan (PGT). The Goccia area is involved in the plan to transfer part of the university campus to this site. This hypothesis was promoted and supported at the end of the 1980s by a group of researchers of the Faculty of Architecture. The idea was related to a sort of polycentric territorial city. Specifically, what they promoted was a new function for the area to set a new city centre in order to redeem its peripheral condition. The main reason for this option was the availability of dismissed industrial areas and the great rail accessibility provided for by the city plans that would have guaranteed urban and territorial relations. In agreement with the Municipality in 1990 the Faculty of Architecture developed a masterplan for the new settlement, which was blocked for decades due to pollution issues in the areas. The following projects derive from a new agreement promoted by the Municipality of Milan and Politecnico in 2016.
Domenico Chizzoniti, Luca Monica, Tomaso Monestiroli, Raffaella Neri

Open Access

The City’s New Road. The Fundamental Role of Nature in Urban Transformation Processes

Abstract
As with numerous contemporary situations regarding industrial suburbs, nature and artifice, alternating over time, have provided Bovisa—a strategic area in Milan—with a legacy full of contradictory signs such as the negative effects left by the productive apparatus, the vigorous return of nature and the marked evocative value of the remaining buildings, living deposits of a not-too-distant past. The development of the project, presented in the context of a Call for Ideas (Moro in Bovisa, un parco per la ricerca e il lavoro. Maggioli, Milan, 2017), involves three main parts that correspond, in order, to the phases indicated for the transformation:
  • the first regards buildings outside the Goccia area, intended for residence and commerce;
  • the second is the link between the stations and the construction in the area of the gasometers of the Library and the Congress Centre;
  • the third, along with setting up the park, entails, on its sides, the construction of the New Politecnico/Science Park and the residential system of the Strada Nuova, two diverse settlements, albeit conceived according to similar formal and constructive logic.
The ideas expressed here, according to a single project aimed at enhancing the area’s features, propose a transformation process that will enable the construction of a formally defined and complete urban part, characterized by high accessibility and reduced vehicle traffic, built in a green environment according to principles of sustainability and equipped with activities, residences and services of a metropolitan nature. As a result, the general idea of the project tends to express, in organized and orderly terms, the traces of the phases which over time have created the Goccia di Bovisa area: the original phase of nature, the industrial urban service phase, the phase where nature returns to occupy the abandoned work-related spaces and the phase being proposed here in which the elements present are valued in relation to the characters and the size of the set of activities envisaged. At the basis of all this is the search for a balanced relationship between artifice and nature, where the latter, an original and fundamental element, makes up the primary place in which to structure the proposals of the new city.
Adalberto Del Bo

Open Access

The Quality of the Project and the MIUR Standards for the Control and Funding of Buildings for Education and Training

Abstract
This paper reports the results of an activity of scientific advice for the winning project of the national competition for the construction of a new building for the Fondazione Collegio delle Università Milanesi. Starting from the project submitted to the IV MIUR funding tender in 2016, the attention is focused on the issue of the quality of the project and its development up to the detailed design phase within the current regulatory and procedural models defined by the MIUR and the Public works laws for the design and construction of temporary residences for university students.
Giovanni Castaldo, Matteo Gambaro, Elena Mussinelli, Andrea Tartaglia

Open Access

Education as Reconstruction. School Typology in Post-earthquake Reconstruction in Central Italy

Abstract
The text investigates the role of education and school typology in reconstruction strategies in the different settlement and socio-economic contexts of Central Italy affected by the 2016 earthquake.
Enrico Bordogna, Tommaso Brighenti

Open Access

Design for Schools

Abstract
Some competition projects concerning the construction of new schools are collected in this article. These projects deal with different themes depending on the level of education: high schools and secondary schools are generally integrated with collective services open to the city etc.—open to the city to seat new important urban centers. On the other way round, primary schools and kindergartens are generally more introverted buildings, to protect the safety of children, so as the organization of space is more linked to educational patterns. In all cases, the schools are buildings that include open spaces, courtyards or gardens, which relate to the features of the different sites.
Domenico Chizzoniti, Luca Monica, Tomaso Monestiroli, Raffaella Neri, Laura Anna Pezzetti

The Paths to Innovation: Tools, Models and Processes

Frontmatter

Open Access

A BIM-Based Process from Building Design to Construction: A Case Study, the School of Melzo

Abstract
The digital transition in the construction industry is characterized by data and information management as central to a BIM process. The structuring of the design performance and data shared among the various stakeholders was designed to follow the entire building process: from the client requirements, up to the design, the construction phase and the final handover. The information workflow was drafted and validated on a new building school of Melzo case study.
Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Paolo Ettore Giana, Francesco Paleari, Marco Schievano, Elena Seghezzi, Valentina Villa

Open Access

A Collaborative Approach for AEC Industry Digital Transformation: A Case Study, the School of Liscate

Abstract
In the digital transformation process of the construction sector, the Client has a crucial role involving all the stakeholders and organizing workflows with a digital platform that ensure the flow of information in a fluid and coherent way. Collaboration becomes a key factor in making the process work the best way and supports BIM throughout the building’s lifecycle. For this reason, the Framework Alliance Contract has been applied, for the first time in Italy, on a case study (the new School of Liscate). The construction process has been supported by a collaborative platform linked to the BIM model that allows the traceability and real-time control of the consistency and accuracy of project information.
Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Paolo Ettore Giana, Marco Schievano, Francesco Paleari

Open Access

Use of Predictive Analyses for BIM-Based Space Quality Optimization: A Case Study, Progetto Iscol@

Abstract
Predictive analyses on future uses, developed through usage patterns, provide a solid basis for space quality check. This paper aims at setting a methodology for the use of predictive analyses for project quality and effectiveness of school buildings design. Crowd simulations and pre-occupancy simulations are applied on BIM models of school buildings: data related to users’ interactions, comfort evaluation help in increasing space quality and avoiding overcrowding or ineffective space distribution. The proposed approach is iterative, allowing the optimization of design, based on educational approach. This method has been tested in the design of a new school building located in Sardinia, in the framework of Progetto Iscol@.
Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Matteo Frate

Open Access

Technical-Scientific Support for the Definition of the Project for the Reconstruction of School Buildings Involved in Seismic Events

Abstract
This research regards the development of the project of the new school of San Severino Marche. The school is located in a region severely affected by the earthquake, and for this reason the design of the new building was based on a high degree of structural capacity, as well as strong innovations on typological and technological level, in accordance with specific educational needs. The research work is developed through a BIM approach that allowed the proper coordination of the disciplines involved.
Emilio Pizzi, Maurizio Acito, Claudio Del Pero, Elena Seghezzi, Valentina Villa, Enrico Sergio Mazzucchelli

Open Access

“A Factory for the Future”: Inveruno New School

Abstract
School is a rather complex issue that involves a range of different disciplines—the technical disciplines of architectural, system and structural design, along with the disciplines of training that define the educational project, as well as the disciplines of sociology and urban studies. Given such complexity, the relationship among public institutions such as City, Province and Regional administrations and the seats of scientific research such as University Departments where the above-mentioned specific expertise is developed, becomes fundamental for an innovative school project.
Tomaso Monestiroli, Francesco Menegatti, Maurizio Acito, Giuseppe Martino Di Giuda, Franco Guzzetti, Paolo Oliaro

Open Access

Field of Education and “Corpus Socialis”

Abstract
The Italian school system is still affected by the “Berlinguer Reform”—it never entered into force but it became the basis of every subsequent reform that was implemented—for which the legislator intended to compensate for the imbalances of the Italian school, in the relationship with mass-studies, with the transposition of European directives that have substantially changed the schools of every order and degree and introduced a “3 + 2” structure in the university educational system, stiffening the entire school cycle and causing further fragmentation. The essay presents a pilot project of a reversible wooden pavilion as the primary nucleus of (the) experimental teaching, for the recovery of degraded and typologically insufficient public schools in Milan, but also for the reuse of the “mother houses”, the farmhouses in Lombardy and also for the restoration of the “forum” in the Italian places damaged by the earthquake.
Riccardo Canella, Micaela Bordin

Open Access

Space-Places and Third Teacher: The Issue of Architectural Space in the Age of Knowledge Cities and Schools 3.0

Abstract
Information and knowledge are not synonyms; rather they are quite distinct facts. As a form of knowing never separated from the critical processing of subjects, knowledge is sensitive to space. The city as a knowledge hub demands a dense exchange of context where urban morphologies cannot be replaced by dispersed relations allowed by ICT networks and smart efficiency. Symmetrically in school buildings, that is, the basis of knowledge infrastructures, learning architecture is not replaceable by an unstructured environment, mechanically derived from a new flexibility allowed by digital technologies and specific mainstream views on “innovative teaching”. This paper critically explores the role of architectural space in the age of 2.0–3.0 schools, discussing the relationship between transformations introduced by the unstructured classroom upgraded by digital technologies and new necessary experimentations on architectural space, the third teacher. Architectural space is not only an active player in influencing learning and development but is also a constitutive element in the formation of thought and a specific tool of critical, cultural and imaginative knowledge of reality. Organising space means organising the metaphor of knowledge.
Laura Anna Pezzetti

Management, Transformation and Enhancement of the Built Heritage

Frontmatter

Open Access

School Building Surveying: A Support Tool for School Building Registry Office

Abstract
On the national territory, the school building situation appears patchy, with very different situations in several respects, the most important of which is related to structural safety, to possessing the correct certification for fire prevention or hygiene. In fact, many schools were built before the 1970s and require very costly interventions; not only that, but in the meantime, teaching has changed, and it is not always possible or convenient to intervene on these buildings. From the ongoing dialogue with the Department of Education, Educational Policies and School Building of ANCI (Sabrina Gastaldi, Head of the ANCI Education School Department) and with the Department of School Education of Legambiente, (Vannessa Pallucchi, Vice President of Legambiente and National Head of Legambiente School and Training) what emerges is the importance of substantiating the survey on the quality of school buildings (Ecosistema Scuola (2018), now in its 19th edition, continues to show a clear gap between north and south of our country). School Building Registry Office, through the portal of the Ministry of Education, University and Research, started a transparency operation on the data concerning the health state of school buildings present on the national territory. However, it is necessary to define an effective control system and a decision-making process for the identification of priorities. This paper presents a due diligence tool developed with the aim of supporting the School Building Registry Office in the collection and processing of data.
Angela S. Pavesi, Genny Cia, Cristiana Perego, Marzia Morena

Open Access

Extension for the Accademia di Brera at the Farini Marshalling Yard in Milan: The Architecture of the Campus and Spaces Frames for Teaching

Abstract
A study of the architectural tradition of the types and spaces used to teach fine arts underlays the research to develop the Accademia di Brera project at the Farini marshalling yard, a brand-new campus for the arts as part of the urban regeneration of the whole of the former marshalling yard area. The system, which uses different varieties of newly built multiple teaching spaces, is inserted into the existing long galleries which feature frame construction.
Luca Monica, Luca Bergamaschi, Giovanni Luca Ferreri, Paola Galbiati, Massimiliano Nastri

Open Access

Camillo Boito’s “Capannone” for the Accademia di Brera in Milan: Reuse of a Railway Depot

Abstract
The work concerns the project for the transfer of some departments of the Brera Academy to the area of Scalo Farini located in the centre of Milan. The area is central to the transformations of Milan, and the relocation of the departments of the Academy solves the problem of its development as a school. The transfer occupies the large post office warehouse in the centre of the area, which is the subject of a conservation and evaluation process for the insertion of the new functions.
Gabriella Guarisco, Maurizio Acito, Stefano Cusatelli, Mehrnaz Rajabi

Open Access

A University Campus for Medical Disciplines in View of the Redevelopment of the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Piacenza

Abstract
The work includes studies and projects for the architectural recovery and completion of the Renaissance period monastery of S. Sepolcro by inserting spaces for a new university of medicine and nursing within the overall regeneration project of the area of the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Piacenza. The university functions and the other activities compatible with the historical structure envisage a valorization of the monastic complex and contribute on several fronts to supporting the regeneration project of the sector where the hospital function has been continuously performed since 1471. The theme presents an opportunity to question on the relation between the architectural project and the historical buildings and, more generally on the functions and actions compatible with the ancient city. This project requires an extended and in-depth evaluation that also questions the concept of “sustainability”, expanded to the “physiology” of the historical buildings and settlements, seeking appropriate solutions that consider the transformations necessary to not disperse the potential accumulated by these areas and to guarantee their active role within the urban organism. The study has been elaborated in the research: “Guidelines and operational solutions for urban redevelopment of the sector corresponding to the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital and for the conservation and reuse of the former convent of S. Sepolcro in Piacenza”.
Piero Poggioli

Open Access

Application of Externally Bonded Inorganic-Matrix Composites to Existing Masonry Structures

Abstract
Fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) and composite-reinforced mortar (CRM) are recently introduced inorganic-matrix composites that have shown promising results as externally bonded reinforcement (EBR) of existing masonry structures. FRCM and CRM comprised high-strength fiber textiles embedded within inorganic matrices. Different fibers and matrices can be used, which lead to a large number of systems characterized by different properties. In this paper, different techniques employed to strengthen the existing masonry structures with EBR. FRCM and CRM composites are presented and discussed.
Angelo S. Calabrese, Tommaso D’Antino, Carlo Poggi, Pierluigi Colombi, Giulia Fava, Marco A. Pisani

Open Access

Strengthening of Different Types of Slabs with Composite-Reinforced Mortars (CRM)

Abstract
A great number of buildings built in Europe in the second half of the last century are currently in need of strengthening and retrofitting. One of the more frequent issues is the weakness of the slabs and, in particular, of the intrados covering layer (usually a plaster) and/or of the clay non-structural elements employed to decrease the overall slab weight. The application of composite-reinforced mortar (CRM) systems represents a fast and easy solution to address these weaknesses. Therefore, they are particularly attractive for applications in school buildings, to avoid long interruptions of the educational activities. In this paper, the use of CRM to strengthen different types of slabs is described and discussed on the basis of the results obtained from an experimental campaign conducted at the Politecnico di Milano.
Tommaso D’Antino, Angela S. Calabrese, Carlo Poggi, Pierluigi Colombi, Giulia Fava, Massimiliano Bocciarelli

Open Access

Energy Retrofit Potential Evaluation: The Regione Lombardia School Building Asset

Abstract
This chapter summarizes a long list of research activities aimed at defining a method to assess the retrofit potential of school buildings, based on maintenance needs, energy-saving potential, and the life cycle cost of the retrofitted building. New concepts are introduced as the gained comfort cost (GCC) as well as new methods are suggested as a probabilistic approach to describe users’ behavior. Moreover, innovative methods as artificial neural networks have been employed to predict school buildings’ energy performances. The GCC is a new key performance indicator employed to compare different retrofit strategies, focusing on a single classroom. Furthermore, the retrofit potential is evaluated also for the whole school building, exploiting building information modelling (BIM) to collect and transfer information to the building energy model (BEM). This method to analyze energy savings associated with the retrofit of a school building is combined with a method to manage and forecast the running costs of building stocks. The cost forecasting method has been validated through 11 case studies. Eventually, the scale is widened to all the school buildings in Regione Lombardia and the potential energy savings are computed by artificial neural networks (ANN) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). These methods allow to evaluate energy retrofit potential of school buildings and their life cycle costs at different scales of intervention, from the single classroom to all the buildings in a region, allowing the public decision-maker to choose the best policy for retrofitting his school building stock.
Fulvio Re Cecconi, Lavinia Chiara Tagliabue, Nicola Moretti, Enrico De Angelis, Andrea Giovanni Mainini, Sebastiano Maltese

Open Access

Energy and Environmental Retrofit of Existing School Buildings: Potentials and Limits in the Large-Scale Planning

Abstract
This chapter summarizes the results of research activities promoted by a group of researchers working in ABC Department—Politecnico di Milano aimed at energy and environmental requalification of school buildings located in the Lombardy region (Italy). The buildings subject to energy audits have been selected considering various factors, including the type of user (e.g. kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools, etc.), construction period, construction technology and degradation. The methodological approach considers energy retrofit scenarios with different energy performance targets and required investments. The results of the research, which is concerned with a substantial and diversified existing building stock, provide public administrators decision-making tools and indicators supporting the energy and environmental retrofit actions for the existing schools. Although the potential for energy savings and reduced environmental impact is important in all scenarios, the achievement of very high energy performance targets is not always economically convenient and is sometimes technically impossible to reach. Large-scale energy planning, therefore, always requires in-depth energy audits that allow defining the optimal energy performance targets. The research activities demonstrate that it is convenient, when the energy performance of a building is improved, to consider also the environmental aspects. For some sample school buildings simulation analyses were carried out in accordance with the LEED® protocol, and the higher cost due to environmental enhancement (e.g. the choice of ecological materials, the recycling of demolition materials or the use of renewable energy sources) is absolutely acceptable in the intervention economy.
Giuliano Dall’O’, Luca Sarto
Additional information