The project consists of the renovation and repurposing of a former parking garage in Milan to house a kindergarten and preschool on the upper level and a swimming pool in the basement. The general objective of the project was to create a space with high pedagogical profile; designed in consultation with Reggio Children—an internationally leading institution in children’s education—the project is based on the belief that the quality of space, material and immaterial, is a central component in making the educational experience rich and varied. Following these principles, the interior space has not been conceived as a mere container for activities but rather as an articulated structure, characterized by the presence of public, semi-public, and private spaces in which the users—children and educators—can meet. In this sense, the school is thought of as an active tool for growth and learning, an interactive space capable of stimulating curiosity and interpersonal relationships, but above all capable of promoting an idea of community.
The spatial layout reflects the educational and organizational objectives of the school, putting values like sharing and participation at the center. The symbolic heart of the project is the Agora, a double-height space conceived as an atrium, a meeting place, and a place of socialization all in one. The spatial organization and the distribution of horizontal and vertical paths branches out from this core—an open, luminous, and transparent space where children's lives will take place.
It is possible to access all the other spaces of the project from the Agora: the different sections for children and the ateliers on the ground floor, as well as the classrooms on the new bridges on the first floor overlooking it through large glazed surfaces. The underground level hosts the swimming pool, an independent structure with its own entrance and its own identity, but which in turn can be used by the children from the school above.
Client: Scuola Innovativa S.r.L.
Location: Milan, Italy
Programme: Kindergarten, Nursery, Sports Center
Area: 2.000 sqm
Design: Labics (Maria Claudia Clemente, Francesco Isidori)
Project team: Federico Pitzalis, Sara Sosio
Consultants: Structural engineering: Studio Speri | MEP: ing. Gragnaniello
Photos: Marco Cappelletti