LOCATION Casatenovo, Lecco, Italy
YEAR 2016
THEME Architecture, Education spaces, Secondary school
STATUS Competition
DESIGNERS Antonio Monestiroli, Tomaso Monestiroli, Luca Cardani
TEAM  Alessandro Ruberto

The project site of the new secondary school in Casatenovo is located along a road axis parallel to the Roggia Nava, which runs through a part of the Brianza area characterized by agricultural parks in which villas of historical and architectural value are settled. It is a little elevated area from which one enjoys a beautiful landscape destined to be a resource of great value. These characteristics make the area a remarkable place that can be further enhanced by the establishment of a public building whose value goes beyond its own function, making use of the environmental quality of the place where it stands.

Thanks to a strong relationship with the nature of the landscape and the opening of the structure beyond school hours, the new school can become a meeting place for the entire citizenry: an architectural complex that must take on the representative character necessary to play a primary role, becoming an architectural cornerstone in the morphology of spontaneous agglomerations and small productive settlements that characterizes the area. After all, Casatenovo itself in history is built with a series of places and buildings of value (villas, convents), in large parks within a slightly moved landscape, which gives each of these centers its own relevance. In short, a landscape that still retains many of its original qualities that should not only be respected but even enhanced. The typology of the school building is defined on the relationship between external factors, mainly related to the nature of the place, and internal factors, which depend on its functions. It is necessary to establish a harmonious relationship between these factors so as to create a place appropriate to the activities that take place there but at the same time capable of making the characters of the environment in which it stands its own, especially when it is a place of great beauty. The choice behind the layout is to distribute the parts of the school with a long transparent gallery, which faces northeast on the green garden area, reinforcing and shaping the many existing tree species.
Distributed along the gallery to the south are the bodies of classrooms and laboratories, interspersed with large openings facing the landscape, and to the north are the gymnasium and auditorium, which, placed at a distance from each other, relate through the large school garden. This gallery is the backbone of the entire typological layout, the place of distribution of the entire building, but also, no less important, the meeting place for the entire school population



L. Cardani (edit by) Studio Monestiroli  Opere e progetti di Architettura Electa Milan 2021

S. della Torre, M. Bocciarelli, L. Daglio, R. Neri (edit by)  
Buildings for Education. A multidisciplinary overview of the design of School Buildings Springer International Publishing 2020