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Conceptual Model

Conceptual Model

The Modernisation Programme promotes a school building model adapted to the educational project pursued by each school, its needs, objectives and characteristics. This concept must ensure the school buildings’ durability and sustainability, taking into account the adaptability and continued need to restructure space in light of changes in educational strategies and the natural wear and tear caused by their use.

The conceptual model of the school is based on three basic principles: integration between the various functional areas (teaching and non-teaching areas); guaranteed conditions for their integrated operation; and possibility of opening up some sectors for use by the wider community during after school periods.

The model for reorganizing the school adopted by the Modernisation Programme seeks to meet these requirements by adapting the concept of the "learning street”, introduced by Herman Hertzberger at the Montessori School in Delft, in the 1960s. The intention is therefore to connect the various functional areas of the school via a three-dimensional path comprising a succession of indoor and outdoor spaces with different purposes, related to different formal and informal learning situations.

With this basis, there is a clear need to regulate the functional theme by seeing the school as a living and evolving organism. Within the conceptual model applied, the existence of a core of formal learning is reinforced, structured into levels corresponding to the major areas of knowledge, which communicate with the core of informal learning. Recognizing the role of schools within the urban dynamics in which they operate, the core services that may be opened up to the community are thought of strategically, creating a sector that should display a strong centrality and, at the same time, especially focus on periods physically and symbolically outside school activities. Here, the library/resource centre, the knowledge and memory spaces (of a museum nature), the restaurant area, the convenience store (grouping the bookstore/stationer’s and photocopying area), the sports centre and a multipurpose space for conducting meetings and a wide range of other events, as well as for use by students for recreation, are found. In many cases, this "forum" is complemented with facilities for adult education and skills certification.

Faculty and staff areas are resized in order to respond flexibly to today’s needs and those of the future, but always include management and administration centres offering general assistance to parents and guardians in terms of management, work and leisure.

To respond to this spatial organizational framework, technical documents were prepared to inform the public and, in particular, the design team about the principles of the solution. One of the principal means takes the form of Design Manuals devoted to subjects such as Architecture, Technical Installations, Landscape Architecture or matters of great relevance today, such as Accessibility. These technical documents seek to systemize functional requirements and functional coordination solutions through diagrams and layouts, drawn and written recommendations and complement the information provided in the strategic plan and the spaces program defined for each solution.