THE NATURE OF EDUCATING: Study and Design of a Mediterranean Educational Complex

Di Palo, Mariarosaria, Francesca Gambioli, and Claudia Bernasconi

This poster reports on the research and design for a multicultural educational complex that integrates sustainable building methods, local traditional and cultural elements, environmental design principles, and context sensitive design approaches.

The study targeted:

The harmonization of traditional architectural features with more contemporary elements to reflect the multi-cultural character of the schools;

2.  The need for high quality spaces and a dynamic environment that foster educational processes, promote interaction and creativity, and give to the students a role of active participants in the school activities;

3.     The integration of natural and built environment towards an intervention strongly connected to the site; and

4.     Sustainability through the use of renewable energy resources, innovative technologies and green design concepts.

We studied Mediterranean architectural typologies, with attention to local materials, traditional colors and decorative motifs, typical spatial organizations, and interior-exterior connection.

For the structural and technical components we studied: the application of sustainable design concepts through passive and active systems, green technologies and alternative and renewable energy solutions. Environmental theories were referenced to ensure the psychological and physical healthiness of the living spaces.

The design proposal is organized as a series of strips that emerge from the naturally sloped ground requiring minimum movement of the terrain. The design aims to involve the youth in collaborative and innovative ways of learning (e.g. collective learning, experiential learning, project-based learning). Interior patios of different sizes, and a major plaza are intended to foster socialization, sense of engagement through active participation and ability to work with others. Spaces and supports for student installations target the process of self-expression, self-discovery and development.

The poster will include the description of theories and body of knowledge applied in the design, as well as visuals, charts, and 3D renderings of the design including sustainability detail studies of the educational complex.