The Gonzaga Institute, one of the oldest private schools in Milan (est. 1906) has always considered the needs of the students and times. The school structure has evolved over the years, acquiring new spaces for additional learning activities and sports, and to support this growth a new ‘award-winning’ wing was designed and introduced.
Recently completed, this award-winning project now offers facilities that are open to students and the local community including new large outdoor spaces, a new Sports Center, Conference Hall and a much needed multi-story car park, despite the challenging urban context.
The courtyard is the heart of the school, both physically and functionally, around which revolves the scholastic organism with three new volumes overlooking the courtyard space.
The new translucent volume contains sports facilities, swimming pool and a sizeable gym, which hosts official basketball and volleyball games. One singular element, the independent entrance to the new sport complex that opens onto Via Settembrini for the public, formally externalizes the radical transformation.
A new low construction hides the car park access ramp and a long narrow glass building contains the new distribution system thereby resolving the complex connections between the various functions.
The partial transformation of a low volume, located to one side of the lot, led to the realization of the school’s assembly hall, which takes the place of the present day school gym. The entrance on Via Settembrini also serves this new function.
Below the courtyard, on the other hand, a four-story underground car park, accessible from via Settembrini and independent from school grounds operations, benefits in part the school, but for the most part the surrounding neighbourhood.
The two elements, car park and sports complex, are structurally independent for security purposes; the reduced availability of space and compliance with the neighboring lots were the reasons behind this choice. The glass façade is structural; the thick vertical partition is, in fact, a supporting system for the distribution volume floor slabs. The Vierendel beams host locker rooms below and the metal structure covering the car park ramp is self-supporting.