LOCATION Piedicastello, Trento, Italy
YEAR 1993
THEME Architecture, Education spaces, Educational complex
STATUS Competition
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli
TEAM  Ilario Boniello, Martina Landsberger, Raffaella Neri

We understood the competition as a commitment to defining a school idea in a place in the city of great beauty. Situated on the bank of the Adige River, close to the Sardagna shoreline, the site intended for the school establishes a direct relationship with the historic center of Trent, the river and the landscape. In addition, the proximity of the Piedicastello hamlets means that the school complex does not remain isolated, but is embedded in a context that, while maintaining its own formal autonomy, is rooted in the city’s history and the ways in which it has been inserted into the geographical context.

Therefore, the first choice was to tie in with the road system that connects the village with the city, and to establish access to the complex through that system. The road access is from the S. Lorenzo bridge, crosses the Brescia street. Following the indications of the P.R.G., it is planned to eliminate the elevated interchange near the bridges and the historic church of S. Apollinare, setting back State Road No. 12 to the rocky shoreline. The existing variant of S.S. No. 12 that runs alongside the Adige River is narrowed and downgraded to a municipal-level road, so as to allow the school and its grounds a more convenient relationship with the river. The design of the school complex coincides, in our proposal, with the design of the school site. The design idea is to define a central place where the parts of the school face, and from which a visual relationship with the river and the city is established. We thought of organizing the school system on either side of a large lawn and placing at the two ends of the lawn the two most important collective classrooms: the homeroom and the cafeteria. From the city, the school complex will appear as a system with a strong unified character, able to represent an institution of the civic importance of the school. The central place is defined on the two longitudinal sides by two long arcades to which the two schools distributed in three parallel triple bodies, three stories high, are connected to the north and south. The building bodies containing classrooms, laboratories and gymnasiums are perpendicular to the large central place and optimally oriented. The large lawn is raised above ground level (+ 4.80 m), so as to allow a good visual relationship with the surroundings. This forms a kind of large terrace on the river, a basement that conveniently contains parking spaces, service spaces for the homeroom and cafeteria, and spaces for the school’s technological facilities. The large lawn is accessed via a long side ramp juxtaposed against the porch wall near the access road.


Massimo Ferrari (edit by) Antonio Monestiroli Opere, progetti e studi di architettura Electa Milan 2001