The starting point is the demarcation of a void, which becomes an efficient cause in the definition of the entire intervention

The new building is five storeys above ground, thus harmonising with the average height of the buildings along Via Torino, which ranges from four to seven storeys

The corner of the building takes on a new and important urban role, that of head of the built front

Fragmentation of the open spaces, exasperated formalism of the existing building are the cause of the partial degradation of the area

Classical, Artistic, Musical High School / Aosta

Urbanistic concept
The main goal of the project is an urban reconfiguration of the entire area, attempting to remedy those situations – fragmentation of the open spaces, exasperated formalism of the existing building, heterogeneity of buildings along Via Torino – that are the cause of the partial degradation of the area.
The starting point is the demarcation of an empty space, which becomes an efficient cause in the definition of the entire intervention; thus a new urban space is created, an ideal extension of the future Puchoz Park, onto which the new high school and the existing gymnasium building will face, with the premises of the former canteen destined for exhibition spaces and a civic centre.

Architectural concept
The definition of the architecture of the new building is a strict consequence of the urban planning choices. The volume is set as a negative, a solid modelled by the positive of the new open space to the east and by the limits of the existing site on the sides towards Via Torino and Via Boson.
The result is a building with an L-shaped layout that stands as the terminal element of the building on the north side of Via Torino, from Via Vevey to Via Garibaldi, thus ousting from this urban function the modest apartment building at the crossroads of Via Garibaldi .
The building corner, fully visible from the east entrance on Via Torino, thus assumes a new and important urban role, that of head of the built façades. It is planned to treat the two orthogonal elevations in the same way, cancelling the differences between the one facing the street and the one facing the schoolyard, thus emphasising the ideal belonging to the city of the new open space. The façade party adopts a stylistic feature typical of the Modern Movement, the fenêtre en longueur, capable of materialising the perspective vanishing lines of the view from the east of Via Torino, then turning them, without solution of continuity, towards the interior of the lot.
This choice, as well as being consistent with the building’s urban role, is also fully satisfactory from the point of view of the functionality of the interior spaces: classrooms and laboratories always have a solid parapet, equipped with fixed furniture and plant equipment, on which the continuous glazing is set; the evenness of the solution allows a broad flexibility in the use and alteration of the spaces over time.

The resulting building body consists of two wings of the same width, set on two 7.5 metre spans. One half of the body is occupied by the sequence of classrooms and laboratories, the other houses the circulation spaces, interspersed with the volumes of the classrooms for alternative subjects and the service areas. What is dropped is the idea of the corridor as a distribution element in favour of a concept of an open, fluid, generously lit circulation space of variable width.
It is in this space, outside the traditional classroom and specialised laboratories, that alternative ways of learning can take place: here are more intimate spaces for individual study or in small groups, for listening to music, for projections or temporary performances. The divisions between the classrooms and the central space are made by light partitions, opaque up to one metre high and glazed for the remaining part. The classrooms for special needs and alternative subjects are configured as glazed boxes that intersperse the fluid space of distribution.

Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta
Aosta (AO)
Two stages Competition
Architectural Project:
Orazio Basso, Alessandro Simonato
Anna Scarabello
Structural Engineering:
W.E.I.'N Venice S.r.l.