The Spring of Fare Scuola
Italian schools are opening up in spring for the Fare Scuola (Making Schools) project. Many new areas born from the initiative launched in 2015 by the non-profit organisation Enel Cuore and the Reggio Children Foundation - Centro Loris Malaguzzi are opening up from Brescia to Palermo, from Verona to Taranto. The aim is to improve the quality of the educational environment and stimulate relations among children, with families and the community.
Architecture, pedagogy and technology ally to create cutting-edge solutions: not just refurbishing spaces but rethinking them by means of colours, the alignment of lights and the shape of tables and chairs, to stimulate the attention of pupils and awaken curiosity, enjoy games and discovery.
“This project is in progress: every school has its originality, every project has a generation potential,” explained Enel Cuore secretary general Novella Pellegrini - “for example, in Verbania an atelier on food transformation has become a reference point for other schools in the area.”
The last inauguration was on the 30 May at the Don Milani School in Carbonia, Sardinia. The architect Andrea Oliva has realized an "emotional space" between the entrance and the main hall/square, using a mobile curtain, on which it is possibile to project, hang or place, in order to organize lab activities or exhibitions. On the 11 May, instead, it was completed the Melville project, achieved by the CCDP firm for the Chizzolini School in Brescia (Lombardy): new spaces designed to stimulate sensory experience that turn the school into a bridge to the outside world. Between the building entrance and atelier, a library acts as a ‘filter for ideas’ that lead to the making of books that are then displayed. Modular furniture, along with a new use of lights and colours, separate the schoolyard from the nearby gym, so it can be used differently each time.
From the Alps to the Mediterranean
Melville is the last of a long series of projects that now reunite the extreme areas of Italy. Overall, it includes 60 activities in kindergartens and primary schools for the benefit of children aged 3 to 10, over a period of three years.
On 4 May, the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando presented two projects for his city. La linea dell’ombra (The Shadow Line), to be carried out at the Sacco e Vanzetti kindergarten, extended the entrance hall by means of plants and furnishings, providing a continuous shadow system and adding space to develop integrated teaching methods.
Piazza delle parole (The square of words), the intervention at the Father Giuseppe Puglisi primary school, aimed at turning passage areas into spaces for exchange and discovery. For instance, the long corridor and the main hall now host a theatre/auditorium and a broad library.
Making digital school
In addition, at the Puglisi school a digital atelier was created, a strategic educational resource that is also to be set up elsewhere within the Making School project. Digital technology is a useful tool to promote narrative and analogue languages, as well as multidisciplinary explorations. The material and virtual worlds mingle, allowing new teaching and learning approaches. The Reggio Children Foundation offered a specific training for teachers and children of the school in Palermo, creating a working group with the assistance of Enel Cuore, the school management and the municipal administration of Palermo.
Different schools, same philosophy
In April the spotlight focussed on the G. Zanfini institute in Altomonte, in the province of Cosenza. The school has been equipped with a personalised and polychromatic portal, so that the entrance area is no longer just a waiting area, but a space that stimulates game and motor activity. A similar intervention was carried out on the first floor of the Evelina Cundari kindergarten in Cosenza, facilitating its connection with the laboratory/atelier area. Finally, at the Archi primary school in Reggio Calabria a floor-to-floor atelier was set up on the ground floor, with a hall on the first floor for children with special needs.
A few weeks before, at the 1° Maggio kindergarten in Verona, Enel Cuore had contributed to creating a flexible environment suitable for many activities with five mini-studios created by architect Andrea Oliva: one graphic-pictorial, one multi-sensorial, one for constructivity-digital, a musical atelier and a symbolic one.
At the G. Falcone public primary school in Taranto the project ‘È ora per stare insieme’ (It's time to be together), proposed by architect Sebastiano Longaretti, was completed. A ground floor hall was equipped with soft wall-mounted pillows for relaxation, documentation boards and a video projector. Following the same philosophy of enhancement of passages, spaces have been created at other Italian schools, the entrance hall was organised to allow various activities, including video and meeting projections, by means of non-retractable curtains.
Also in Puglia, the Elisabetta and Chiara Aquaro kindergarten in Torre a Mare completely revolutionised the design of its garden, where scented bushes and different colours open up unexpectedly onto the bamboo forest of a hillside along mysterious tracks. This is ‘The Landscape Garden’, the amazing project by architect Carmelo Baglivo, achieved exclusively for Enel Cuore and Fondazione Reggio Children.
In addition, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in April at the Via Nuoro primary school of the Vittorio Angus Institute in Portoscuso, in southern Sardinia. Less than a year after its kick-off, the ‘TrasformAzioni’ project, signed by architect Carlo Margini, created a ‘morphologically active’ space, which in a few minutes can turn into a theatre or projection room or atelier/laboratory or modern library. The walls have been covered with movable elements that alternate background areas to background-less areas, granting a vibrant rhythm to the passing light.
A school in Savignone (Genova) will also be inaugurated on 30 May, while in the following weeks will be the new spaces in Carbonia, Fabriano (Ancona) and Città di Castello (Perugia) schools.
Spaces, shapes, colours: Making School confirms its role as a factory of ideas at the service of children.