The Green Kindergarten – Futuristic Design From Italy
The concern for the surrounding environment is now an integral part of our daily lives, whether we speak about simple and banal actions or ampler and more complex contexts. In the construction sector, too, sustainable buildings are becoming an expanded presence, with positive consequences both for the natural environment and the owners’ budget. Amid all this nature awareness process, education plays a vital role. This is what authorities in the Italian province of Reggio Emilia also wanted to prove by approving the futuristic plan of a green kindergarten.
When we say green in referring to this building, we don’t merely refer to energy efficient technologies, but also to natural and recycled materials used in its construction. The futuristic design was built on the site of an old school destroyed by the earthquake that struck the Italian region in 2012. The new Guastalla School was designed by Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA), a Bologna-based studio that was awarded the design/build bid in a 2014 architecture competition, according to design specialized website Inhabitat.com
The compound spreads on 1,400 square meters and serves up to 120 children under 3 years. In addition to improved safety measures, the new school incorporates a variety of energy efficient technologies including a rooftop photovoltaic system and rainwater harvesting which is later used to irrigate an adjacent garden and in the bathrooms.
The project is thought to stimulate the child’s interaction with the surrounding space according to a vision of ‘teaching’ in which nothing is left to chance, from the distribution of educational areas to the choice of materials of construction, up to the integration between indoor and outdoor space, write the architects. The choice of natural and recycled construction materials helps the building maintain a low environmental impact, they add. Seen from one end, the building appears under the optical illusion of an endless cave, with the glazed spaces in the middle and wood wall framing them. Seen from the outside, the building doesn’t reveal any clue of its curvy interior design.