Bucharest 2012

Dante Alighieri High School Expansion

Architecture  LTFB Studio : arch. Liviu Fabian, arch. Lucian Luta
Project Manager: VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers
Structure: Ductil Tech
Installations: Solid Install
Developer: ACM 4
Photos: Cosmin Dragomir

The idea of an extension of Dante Alighieri high school appeared mainly as an answer to the need of an integrated educational center that comprises after-school facilities and other activities related to the main educational purpose of the building. Some of these types of spaces and activities are chronically missing in most of the schools previously built in Romania.

In the last 23 years, very few educational buildings were built and the improvements of the existent buildings were generally limited to thermal coating together with the repainting of the façade, usually in inappropriate colors. Some of the interventions consisted in roofing the buildings with wooden structure regardless of the original functionalist conception of the building.

The randomly perforated facade of the educational volume (already an usual approach in the contemporary architecture) should be read in a playful key, as a contrast to the uniformity and monotony of the existing facade. This “game with windows” seems a puzzle with pieces of the tree foliage and green light filtered through them, seen from the inside.

The upper terraces at 1st and 2nd floor represent an extension of the recreational space, but could be used also as an extension of the educational space, for example as outdoor classrooms.

Spaces and activities are chronically missing in most of the schools previously built in Romania.
The nonfunctional and degraded old swimming pool in the eastern part of the schoolyard was integrated in one of the new building’s volumes. Between the new swimming pool hall and the existent sports hall, the resulting space is used for the annexes of the two sport facilities and for an adjacent small sportive dance hall. This area of the intervention, together with the volume of the educational facilities located on the first and second floor, the multifunctional hall, the canteen and the upper terraces revolve around the inner patio, the central element of the intervention, a space designed to be an alternative to the concrete schoolyard located on the western side of the existing school.