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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Dante Alighieri High School Expansion in Bucharest, Romania by LTFB Studio

 
January 25th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: LTFB Studio

This intervention must be related to the context: the communist architectural legacy from before 1989 in Romanian cities, the gray suburbs and neighborhoods with standardized blocks , the specific urban landscape of Europe’s former socialist bloc. Due to excessive standardization, many blocks of flats in Bucharest are identical with some of the apartment buildings in places located hundreds of miles away, indifferent to the socio-cultural specificity.

South façade : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

  • Architects: LTFB Studio
  • Project: Dante Alighieri High School Expansion
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
  • Architects: Arch. Liviu Fabian, Arch. Lucian luta
  • Project manager: Vcevienna consulting engineers
  • Structure: Ductiltech
  • Installations: Solidinstall
  • Developer: Acm4

View form south-east : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

The uniformity and the standardization resulted in very few types of educational buildings in the entire country and, as a result, for a period of nearly half of century only a number of 2 or 3 high schools types were produced . That’s why, the planimetry and volumetry of the existent building of Dante Alighieri High School can be found in almost every city of Romania.

East façade : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

In the last 23 years, very few educational buildings were built and the improvements of the existent buildings were generally limited to thermal coating together with the repainting of the façade, usually in  inappropriate colors. Some of the interventions consisted in  roofing the buildings with wooden structure regardless of the original functionalist conception of the building.

Entrance : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

The idea of an extension of Dante Alighieri high school appeared mainly as an answer to the need of an integrated educational center that comprises after-school facilities and other activities related to the main educational purpose of the building. Some of these types of spaces and activities are chronically missing in most of the schools previously built in Romania.

East façade by night : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

The nonfunctional and degraded old swimming pool  in the eastern part of the schoolyard was integrated in one of the new building’s volumes. Between  the new swimming pool hall and the existent sports hall, the resulting space is used for the annexes of the two sport facilities and for an adjacent small sportive dance hall. This area of the intervention, together with the volume of the educational facilities located on the first and second floor, the multifunctional hall, the canteen and the upper terraces revolve around the inner patio, the central element of the intervention, a space designed to be an alternative to the concrete schoolyard located on the western side of the existing school.

South façade by night : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

The randomly perforated facade of the educational volume (already an usual approach in the contemporary architecture) should be read in a playful key, as a contrast to the uniformity and monotony of the existing facade. This “game with windows” seems a puzzle with pieces of the tree foliage and green light filtered through them, seen from the inside.  The upper terraces at 1st  and 2nd  floor represent an extension of the recreational space, but could be used also as an extension of the educational space, for example as outdoor classrooms.

East façade : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

Although this type of approach is not usual for the educational program in Romania,  it is to hope that the intervention could be assimilated as a better way of designing a school and maybe, some things will change in the way the next generation will perceive their built environment.

View form south-east (entrance) by night : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

View along east façade : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

Inner patio : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

Plans : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

Longitudinal Section : Image Courtesy LTFB Studio

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Category: School

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