top of page


general contractor 
surface area
photo credits

Boarding School attached to the existing school complex

Municipality of Verrès, Italy
1000 m²

The idea of Campus and Civic square

In the proposed concept, the redevelopment of the outdoor area extends to the surrounding areas, beyond the strictly contest area: the overall redesign of pavements and green spaces defines a single large urban plaza, characterizing and connecting the campus area where various services are located (sports center, auditorium, schools, recreational spaces, etc.) into a unified and recognizable civic center. It is not physical barriers but the visibility of spacious and lively areas that ensure the safe supervision of the area.

The irregular ground design increases green surfaces and, integrating different types of pavements, tends to break down the hierarchies of flows and passages, creating various permeability solutions and crossing the square. The main entrance to the school complex will be connected to the future urban park on via Frère Gilles, reinforcing the completely pedestrian axis, which aims to break down the delimited front and open the school to the city. The project also includes the recovery of the pedestrian passage to the existing playground in the southeast area and the redevelopment of the boundary between the dormitory and the gym through green areas and urban furniture. The access from via 26 February, on the other hand, will be used as a service driveway.

The box within the box

The project for a new dormitory in the Dépendance building of the Verrès school complex proposes a clear intervention on the historic building, yet discreet in its relationship with the exterior: the outer shell is preserved, cleaned, and enhanced. Inside, except for the historic distribution system facing southeast, the structure is emptied to insert a new independent wooden box. This approach meets the modern needs of a sustainable and efficient building on one hand, and a flexible and innovative function on the other: an avant-garde dormitory with a welcoming and homely atmosphere, fully supporting educational activities while easily adapting to the latest social distancing requirements.

This solution simultaneously enhances the Dépendance building of the former cotton mill and utilizes its full height by modulating the inter-floor height of the internal structure to a standard that allows, with a nearly imperceptible deviation from street level, to reach four floors instead of the three proposed in the preliminary project, favoring a larger area dedicated to flexible common spaces and creating an open-air gap between existing and new.

This setback, crucial in the design, allows for the optimal positioning of the new continuous facade facing outward, addressing ventilation and natural lighting needs independently of the historic building's external openings. The introduction of latticed floors ensures the influx of light and air, providing students with large terraces, private and protected outdoor spaces that serve as a true extension of the rooms to the northeast and essential distribution connections screened on the school side.

A house with a garden

As a focal point for students, the dormitory is an inclusive space dominated by a domestic and informal atmosphere: a home where they rediscover the playful dimension of learning and being together. The project was guided by the desire to create a welcoming building, constantly seeking dialogue between interiors and exteriors, with spacious and flexible spaces, thus enriching the ambitions of the future dormitory, enhancing the strengths of the existing historic context and addressing its challenges as a basis for imagining innovative solutions to achieve goals and fulfill the desires of future residents.

The organization over four levels of the functional program allows for a balanced distribution of private and common spaces on each floor, with simple and functional flow management offering different levels of privacy for the various users of the facility. Each level alternates, with varying proportions, an area dedicated to dormitory rooms and a large shared space that, in addition to resolving internal distribution within the dormitory, is dedicated to activities clustered on reduced floors through simple movable partition walls.

The placement of the floor services block acts as a dividing line between the more collective eastern zone and the more intimate western zone, allowing the space to be calibrated for the exclusive use of boarders, or semi-boarders at specific times of the day. Here, the gathered well-being rooms on each floor reinterpret the classic calm space from a new perspective, contrary to segregation, viewing the need for a protected and nurturing dimension as a shared sentiment by all, at different times, not just by students with specific difficulties, who certainly receive attention.

On the ground floor, the entrance atrium becomes an airy space that enhances the existing staircase and offers a reading area with soft seating and a small library. From here, access is provided to the dining area, redesigned to be flexible and usable for various activities thanks to reconfigurable furnishings and spatial quality: it is a luminous environment due to its ample double height and characterized by a strong interaction with the outdoor space created within the cavity, usable as an outdoor dining area.

On the first floor, overlooking the double height of the dining area, is an extension of the dining zone, usable as additional flexible refreshment space or recreational area as needed. The existing staircase shaft to the east, maintained and enhanced as per the recommendations of the Superintendent, connects the first two levels with the topmost level, thereby linking the dining area with the terrace: a vital space available to students for study activities, leisure, or hosting various events. Informal furnishings, pots, and plants decorate the space; the transverse bleachers suggest possible uses as a theater space, as well as resolving the closure level of the staircase shaft.

In a perspective attentive to overcoming excessive schematization and gender differences, male and female zones alternate on different levels: for both areas, there are planned 11 double rooms, 2 single/assistant rooms, and 2 single/disabled rooms on two floors; of the latter, one for each floor, for a total of 22 double rooms and 8 single rooms. If there are two assistants, it is imagined they would be located on the first and second floors to ensure a centrally located presence, extending to the relevant areas below and above.

bottom of page