Architecture ‘in Dialogue’ for a School

The expansion of a school became an opportunity to redefine the existing urban spaces in a challenging context. The architecture of the Ricci & Val studio has followed the historical lines of the area and interpreted them in a way to create a vibrant new urban space.

Photo: Archengelo Piai

Photo: Archengelo Piai

The reasons for this presentation in Piranesi refer, certainly in a somewhat presumptuous way, directly to the reasons for our magazine, those expressed in its subtitle, Magazine of Central European Architecture, as wanted by Vojteh Ravnikar: a clearly not geographic but cultural definition of a complex place, founded on the relationships between different identities. I can recall, in this regard, Walter Benjamin, who opened an essay on surrealism with the words “Spiritual currents can reach a slope steep enough for the critic to install his own power plant” and this slope, speaking from Germany with a glance to France, “is given by a difference in height”.

Dialogue between different people produces energy, and this is a good opportunity to check if such differences (still) exist and if they are productive. Starting with the theme, which is an excellent starting point for comparison: the architecture of a school. Today in Italy, as in Slovenia and throughout Europe, building schools is an important field of investment with its well-perceived social urgency. For architects it is one of the rare occasions on which they are sure of the importance of their work, and feel free from commercial pressures. There are therefore many examples that could be compared to this piece of work, and many of them are often presented by this magazine.

An additional reason for our interest are the authors of this school: Cecilia Ricci and PierAntonio Val, wife and husband, where—as it is often the case—the husband writes and teaches, while the wife plays a fundamental role in transferring words and architecture into tangible developments. The two architects—now in their sixties—have a personal history that is intensely involved in the Italian architecture. Both studied at IUAV in those heroic years, and PierAntonio Val has remained there teaching ever since, with short episodes at the universities of Milan and Paris.

Photo: Archengelo Piai

Photo: Archengelo Piai

Photo: Archengelo Piai

Photo: Archengelo Piai

The complete article is published in Autumn 2020 issue of Piranesi No. 42-43/Vol. 28.

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Project Data

Architects: Studio Ricci & Val (Cecilia Ricci e PierAntonio Val)
Project team: Nicole Cardin, Enrico Marchesin, Elisabetta Vivan (prima fase), Emilio Antoniol, Mirko Capuzzo, Francesca Peltrera , Fabio Ronchese (seconda fase)
Structural engineer: Gianni Breda
Fixtures engineer: Lamberto Borsoi
Client: Municipality of Susegana
Builder: Brussi Costruzioni
Completion date: 2019
Area: 3467 mq/sqm
Budget: 3.150.000,00 €
Cost per square meter: 1.235,00 €