The Rainbow School

ARCHITECTURE AND PEDAGOGY. Architecture is the spatial background for the everyday life
experience of the children and it has to enhance their fantasy and creative behaviors. In 147;The
Rainbow School148; children can find different spaces, colors, odors and different materials to
touch: it146;s up to every single child to create a world of personal relations supported by adults
throughout a children oriented model of education. We think of Dewey, and pedagogues like
Agazzi, Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner and the successful Italian educational model
experienced by Loris Malaguzzi. The indoor common spaces offer both hidden corners where
children can withdraw in small groups and open spaces where they can play all together. Spaces
belonging to each classroom are flexible: different 147;learning Units148; can be organized
according to different activities, enlarging or reducing the size of spaces by means of mobile
partitions. Volumes are easy to decipher for the children since colors and materials identify
their function: the high glass volume is for common activities while the classrooms and the
facilities spaces set into it, are respectively made of rough plaster and reddish brown copper
panels. Each classroom is characterized by a specific color for windows, doors and interior
furniture and all of the colors are expressed in the rainbow facade so that every child can
consider himself as a part of the whole.
ARCHITECTURE AND CONTEXT. The project is strictly influenced by the surrounding landscape;
the entire building with its main glass faccedil;ade, is oriented toward South because of bioclimatic
reasons. The space between the south faccedil;ade and the opposite green artificial hill, creates a
corridor framing the background agricultural landscape. The artificial hill also mitigates
acoustic, visual and olfactory pollution coming from the highway. The classrooms fan out to the
north allowing direct visual communication with the residential area and the surrounding hills;
the outdoor space flowing into the school has a psycho-pedagogical function too, since
children feel comfortable with the view of a familiar landscape: Learning is made easier.
ARCHITECTURE AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS. The project minimizes energy consumption by
means of radiant heating, solar photovoltaic modules 30Kwp integrated on the green roof and
high insulation walls U0,36W/msup2;K for the classrooms. A geothermal pump capacity 60KW
with a of a low-temperature under floor system heats up the building: the same system,
together with natural ventilation, allows free cooling in the summer time. A rain water collection and storage system is also adopted. These sustainable solutions allow the building to
have a minimal impact on the environment.
ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY. According to the brief of the competition, spaces were
designed to be assembled in two phases: we conceived the process of construction like a
froebelian toy. Six big box-like volumes for the classrooms and three smaller box for the
facility spaces are set into a curvilinear transparent volume: the high standardization of the
modules makes the structure/envelope system outdoor envelope 150; insulation layers 150;
structure 150; insulation layers 150; inner envelope as the most proficient and affordable choice for
the building technology.


Project Type


Prato, 59100,