Agricultural secondary school, Parma


Auctioneer: Provincial Administration of Parma
Location: Parma
Competition: 2011 runner-up
Construction: not realized

Architectural design: Marco Contini
Collaborators: Sara Chiari, Matteo Mascia, Francesco Soncini, Matteo Zaccarelli

Structures: Stefano Alfieri
Road network: Policreo
Agricultural landscape: Nicola Balboni
Biodeversity/agriculture: Enzo Melegari
Urban aspects: Fabio Ceci
Systems: Massimo Bocchi
Geology and environment: Giovanni Michiara

Type of intervention: new construction and recovery
Functional characteristics: Secondary school with 21 classrooms, laboratories, administration offices, library, gym
Area: 6,300 sqm

The project foresees the construction of an agricultural secondary school in a place that bears clear signs of agricultural work that survived the surrounding urbanization, and that still gives us the perception of a strip of the Po Valley countryside enhanced by the presence of the historic buildings of the Stuard farm and the orchard. In particular, the orchard represents not only a consolidated vegetational and landscape element, but also a genetic and cultural heritage that has little national relevance.

The conservation and enhancement of this heritage are among the primary objectives of the project, together with the deepening of the relationship between the peripheral urbanized areas and the surrounding agricultural territory where a productive evolution is still possible. Then there remains the theme of the educational and relationship spaces with which a school is characterized and the possibility to relate the internal spaces and paths with the surrounding agricultural areas.

The objectives of the project proposal, articulated in two different hypotheses, can be summarized as follows:
– to relate the different places and activities while maintaining their independence and functionality;
– to protect and preserve the landscape, contribute to the sustainable management of resources, preserve biodiversity, maintain the economic and social vitality of rural areas;
– to enhance and safeguard the majority of the orchard as an element of cultural interest and heritage of the germplasm-plasma of ancient varieties at risk of extinction not only at local level;
– to build an ecologically correct school building through the inclusion in the landscape, the use of green technologies and energy saving in the combination of structure and plants;
– to promote the internal and external relationship in the spaces for educational activities.