The future of school constructions

One of the recurring questions in a country like Italy, facing an unexpected post-pandemic period, is how school constructions will develop and how shared spaces will need to be re-examined?

The health and safety of students and teachers are the pillars on which all new design projects will need to be based, combined with ecologically sustainable environments and interactive spaces.

The school of the near future must be designed on the basis of new parameters. Now more than ever, these spaces must ensure psychological and not merely physical well-being, as claimed for many years by Renzo Piano, the Genoa-born “archi-star” Zintek has often collaborated with over the years, and who launched an initiative in 2015, “the school I would build“, to imagine a more sustainable and healthy school, alongside a pedagogist and a psychiatrist.

That didactic and educational functions are favoured by physical and psychological wellness was already obvious; this should be combined with greater care from both an acoustic and lighting standpoint, to decrease the feeling of unease that will unavoidably accompany students and teachers in the initial period.

Some Italian realities have already based their architecture on virtuous plans: this is the case of the “NovalisSteiner-Waldorf multi-functional scholastic center in Zoppè di San Vendemiano (TV), designed by the architect Giuseppe Guasina on the basis of Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy and the related multi-disciplinary educational process he theorized.

The geometry of the San Vendemiano school is polar rather than orthogonal, and welcomes its guests in a sort of embrace, further evoked by its “Cshape.

The spaces transform according to the individuals they are designed for: those for younger children are self-contained and soft, while those welcoming high school students are more clearly defined.

The environments develop along a double curve, in a constant alternation of full and empty, concave and convex, with transit points that recall the cartilage separating and joining vertebrae.

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If the classroom complex may be defined as the head of the building, the outer corridor and the arcade of the courtyard are its lungs: their conformation – not by chance defined as “far-breathing” – allows for a connection between the two wings of the school, while protecting and containing the pupils.

The classrooms are located on the southern side, where natural light filters in, while the West side hosts the administration areas, the public entrance, the kitchen, the canteen and, further West, the agricultural landscape.

Such a dynamic construction of the spaces could not have been possible without a careful selection of the materials, chosen on the basis of their eco-compatible features.


In order to meet these needs, natural zintek® titanium zinc rolled products were chosen for the roofing solutions.

Thanks to its malleability, this material allowed for excellent results despite the complexity of the various roof pitches involved.

The installation of a stratigraphic package, sustained by a wood fibre layer thicker than 20 centimeters, not only ensured resistance, protection and inner comfort, but also allowed for a reduction in costs, given that the roof cladding requires no maintenance.

The “Novalis” Steiner-Waldorf multi-functional scholastic center is a dynamic and eco-friendly building complex that aims to last in time.

The future of school constructions is to be found in projects brave enough to reinvent school itself, by considering it more than a place of transit, but a necessary investment in the future of mankind, now more than ever.

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