Valdaora di sopra, Italy
Primary school
International restricted competition, Second Prize, 2022
with ETB, and Patscheider & Partner (engineering)


The project for the primary schools in Valdaora di Sopra recovers some vernacular elements of the barn-house of Val Pusteria to fit the new elongated volume into the context. The presence of a solid plinth, the fa├žade in larch boards and the pitched roof create a delicate balance between the identity of tradition and the need for innovation for a contemporary school. The progressively growing volume, typical of the archetypical structures of the context, also recalls the tree metaphor.

Barn house, Alto Adige

The project replaces the existing primary school, reinventing the relationship with the valley. The access level allows for continuity between school activities and the local community. The basement level accommodates the gym/civic hall, lit by a device that collects natural light from the upper floor and distributes it throughout the space. The central staircase is the heart of the school, as a place of sharing; this area opens zenithally towards the sky through a horizontal window at the meeting of the pitches.

Saint Jerome in his Study. Antonello da Messina

On the perimeter of the upper floors, the classrooms open up towards the horizon and the valley landscape through large panoramic windows. At twilight the school lights up like a lamp, bringing out the big “eyes” that frame the territory. Thus, the contact of the building with the ground dissolves and unexpected visual relationships with passers-by emerge.

Cour de Rohan, Balthus, 1951