The Fermi School, a middle school, opens up to the urban sphere through the reorganization of its entrances and of its external spaces. The back of the existing building becomes the large new main entrance, shaping a green space while unfolding to the neighborhood and emphasizing the concept of a community school. The ground floor is an extension of the public space: integrating a series of services open to everyone, such as the gym, the library, the auditorium and the cafeteria.
The ground floor is designed as a civic center, where the different functions are gathered in the atrium, directly connected with the garden and the two entrances. The atrium stretches to the upper floors thanks to a vertical element, a stairwell that evokes the external architectural language. The flexible library and auditorium space, the cafeteria and the gym complete the public spaces on the ground floor.
On the two upper floors, the atrium accommodates recreational and collective spaces, while the educational activities are organized in clusters – spatial units composed of classrooms, cloakrooms, services and informal learning spaces. The classrooms become the meeting point and the linkage between inside and outside, retaining a visual connection to the common space and giving access to the terraces. Just like in the experimental en plein air schools, the educational and recreational activities take place outdoors. In these open spaces, the green areas and the dialog with the surrounding landscape encourage students and professors to meet and exchange ideas in their daily activities, thus adding great value.
The planning project shared with the community carries an explicit and higher ambition as well: “to set the standard by building a school in both the pedagogical and educational sense”.