Kindergarten for 180 children _ Prato

PLACE: Prato
TYPE: School Building
STATUS: Design Competition
YEAR: 2016
BANDITOR: Municipality of Prato
PROJECT: MFa _ Mauro Frate architects
TEAM: arch. Mauro Frate (group leader), with arch. Nicola Rossi, arch. Augusto Andriolo, Piero Vincenti

The transformation of the area represents the opportunity to give clear expression to the relationship between the green system that opens towards the Bisenzio river, creating a great place of leisure and the road axis of Viale Montegrappa, that is a vehicle of relations between this part of the city and the more consolidated urban systems of the central areas. The layout of the elongated rectangular bodies of the building, placed side by side in a simple paratactic sequence, configures a clearly oriented building, with fronts characterized by the accesses connected to the paths of the park and other fronts facing the pertinent gardens. The gardens are identified by a fence that is formed by the extension of some of the walls of the buildings themselves, expressing with great strength and evidence the continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. The volumes are recomposed under the large roof with continuous inclined pitches, thus allowing to express the peculiarities of the single parts without losing the unity of the figurative solution. The two volumes dedicated to educational activities are joined by an articulated volume that consists of all the service areas and distribution. A small hall, with its own entrance and services, combines with the Welcome Garden, an open space with a large pergola covering that represents the natural extension of the Children/Parents space and that allows to interpose distance between the noise of Viale Montegrappa and the teaching spaces. The sequence of the service areas from West to East is completed by: the sports room, the teachers' room and the connecting space between the areas dedicated to free activities. From the Shadow Garden, the Green Workshops, open-air ateliers for small-scale farmers, penetrate in looking for contiguity with the areas just described. The whole space of the school is designed as an educational space, welcoming, significant in terms of formal articulation without sacrificing those characteristics of intelligibility that favor the orientation of the young users. The wooden frame construction system, consistent with the modular approach of the project, makes possible a significant energy saving, a greater speed of construction and a strong integration between the architectural design and the design of structures and systems.