Urban requalification

Pontoglio, Brescia, Italy

The scope of intervention to which the project pertained comprises an urban parcel of the Pontoglio Municipality delimited by the Dante avenue on the east, Francesca street on the south, the boundary line of the elementary and junior high school on the west and Ettore Merici street on the north side.

The intervention principally concerned the re-qualification of the “Ai Caduti” elementary school and its grounds perceived as an urban environment susceptible to transformations due to construction of infrastructure serving the school complex (surface parking, bicycle lanes and urban green areas).

In order to meet the requirements of the project objectives, the proposal provided for a systematic whole of works with particular attention to giving due regard to the structural characters of the context and to the assonance with the morphological peculiarities of the place.

In light of the objectives of the municipal Administration and of the proposed modalities of intervention, the compound works were divided into two distinct functional allotments.

The design and compositional proposal of the new arrangement of the spaces belonging to the elementary school and its bordering areas hinges on a principal pivot represented by the new entrance to the school. This gave form to the new perimeter fencing and the delimitation of new spaces and generated their course, inside and outside the school.

The new access intends to newly give dignity to the educational institution, with a pertinent architectural proposal of elevated quality, while at the same time resolving the intersection and superposition of the chaotic transport infrastructure on urban level.

The motives in support of the design proposal are of the architectonic and functional order, in addition to being oriented toward safety provisions, first and foremost for the school-aged children coming to and from the school but also for the parents and all citizens walking along the Dante Alighieri avenue that has reached traffic density incompatible with the urban street in its present condition.

The redesign of the new fencing that delimits the area of school pertinence allowed for the widening of the Dante Alighieri avenue footpath.

The recessing of the new fencing and the introduction of one-way traffic in Francesca street have allowed for a construction of a new footpath along this frontage, in particular the section between the intersection with Dante Alighieri avenue and the parking.

The new school entrance distinguishes itself by the concave plan conformation, thus creating an open space that serves as a welcoming forecourt for the parents waiting and the gathering of students in a protected area outside the school gate.

This entrance is characterised by use of materials and solutions pertinent to the context and the local construction traditions. The materials used for the paving of this space are granite and pebble stones that form a pattern of a traditional type. Delimiting this space are spherical granite bollards and a ribbon of the footpath, in continuation with the footpaths along Dante Alighieri avenue and Francesca street, yet again delimited by cast iron bollards and chain.

The new spaces and the internal walkways of the school are delineated by a green band along the fencing on Dante and Francesca street frontages. This green band incorporates the lines of existing lime trees. For integration a new green barrier was planted, comprising a hedge of Osmanthus fragrans.

The internal walkways paving is characterised by a grid design defined by bands of granite corresponding to the building pilasters, and the use of particular self-stopping cement blocks for the created fields.

To complete the works the project foresaw the realisation of new entrance lighting employing post top lights that give a notable quality of illumination.

West of the elementary school the fencing borders on existing parking. The design of this parking lot will be modified and regularised by the new profile of the perimeter fencing.

The new bicycle/pedestrian lane that winds from Francesca to don Ettore Merici street follows a sinuous path through the new green area adjacent to the south parking all the way to the new north parking area. The intervention aims to strengthen the existing bicycle/pedestrian path system, offering a new structure in service of safeguarding pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The new north parking area answers the exigencies of parking in the vicinity of the school and is characterised by a development of a plan tending to a rational and organic redesign of the urban environment under consideration. Particular attention has been given to the integration of its two converging aspects, or rather to the development of the new perimeter fence separating the area of the junior high school and the parking area, and the layout of the parking spaces that enables a regular and efficient design of the new public space. 

The new roadways configuration of the area brought on the revision of the road signage and an introduction of a new way-finding system.

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Project and work supervision

Massimiliano Gamba

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Client

Pontoglio Municipality

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Dimensional data

Intervention area: 7,350 m2

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Chronology

Project: 2008

Construction: 2008 | 2009

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