Dissonant Unity is a design proposal aimed to transform Trojska Skola in an autonomous micro-city: a dense complex where grammar school, primary school, sport center, auditorium and a large cafeteria all coexist in the same plot.
Similar to urban fabrics, characterized by the slow stratification of different buildings from different era and epochs, Dissonant Unity proposes to re-connect the existing buildings according to a new circulation pattern, and to add two new fragments to the overall image of the school.
Three are the main design decisions informing Dissonant Unity:
-Rather than occupying plot no. 314/1 and plot no. 294/1, as suggested by the competition brief, Dissonant Unity is condensed in plot no. 314/1, by liberating the other empty area from new possible constructions, and by creating a green space with playgrounds, basket court, and other outdoor amenities.
A dichotomy is created: whereas plot no. 314/1 is densely occupied by the existing building and by two new additions, plot no 294/1 remains empty: a green equipped area open to students during the day.
-The necessity to optimize facilities and to separate grammar school and primary school offered the pretext to accommodate them in two separate buildings.
The 1928 original construction (plus its 2004 extension) will accommodate the Grammar School: 13 classrooms have been designed, teaching rooms, multimedia spaces, and storage areas.
The basement is completely preserved in its original use.
The 1951 and 2010 additions are partially demolished to be replaced with a new building, which will host the Primary School. Its ground floor is characterized by a large multi-functional hall (120 m2); on the upper floors are 5 classrooms, afterschool facilities, clubs,
literature, visual arts and music special classrooms.
-A new building is replacing the original basket court, which is displaced to plot no. 294/1. This new construction, aligned in height and horizontal extension to the current sport hall, accommodates three different activities: a caretaker apartment on the ground floor plus ecological and visual arts classrooms; HALL 1, a multifunctional space for events and ceremonies, open to the city; a new cafeteria, organized on two levels. While the first level is directly connected to HALL 1, the upper level works as restaurant-canteen.
In envisioning Dissonant Unity as an interconnected agglomeration of distinct fragments, the project allows for the full and independent functioning of each element, by preserving their singularity. Each of these fragments – grammar school, primary school, HALL 1, cafeteria, caretaker apartment – has its own entrance and autonomous lay-out.
What keeps all these different fragments together is a new circulation system, which introduces a new hierarchy and new focal points. Two entrances are connected by a public promenade that allows communication and movement within the school complex. This external pathway is not only a utilitarian service, but it triggers interaction and encounter. Flows are separated, therefore, according to use: students can access the southern gate. Visitors and guest can access the complex via the northern gate.
Rather than introducing iconic shapes or complex formal configurations, the new buildings adapt to the morphological and typological condition of the plot and of its constructions. Their aim is to achieve a critical unity: a homogeneous ensemble where old and new can coexist.