Tecnical High School, Francavilla Fontana, Italy, 2023

The project, starting from the recognition of the topological figures of the site, tends to reconstruct them aiming at the construction of a place. The site therefore already presents itself with logics rooted in the presence of infrastructural, environmental and morphological systems described in the following diagrams, thus suggesting a place making process, which indicates the creation of a North/East to South/West axis, of access to the area and of structuring the collective equipment of the school and that to be used for extracurricular activities.

The axis will be equipped with two distinct accesses, one more public from Via Madre Teresa di Calcutta and the other serving extra-curricular activities from Via Ugo Foscolo and Via Grecia. The choice of an optimal orientation of the educational functions and the presence of the urban neighborhood system in the southern area of the site suggest tilting the axis of the building, enclosing the public space to the south. The axis is designed to recall the concept of in-between, which includes spatial and social/relational values, It is an element that born from topological characteristics of the site. It is a spatial element that is generated by difference and distance between two elements (the volumes of the classrooms), connecting spatial and social, while join in diversity.

The concept of in-between is a central element in contemporary culture and architecture in general, but it takes on an even more significant value in educational architecture. The in-between was introduced by Martin Buber in his book "the problem of man", published in 1943, where it takes on a social value, that is, it derives from the recognition of the diversity and complementarity of the other. This “space” where othernesses meet is defined as in-between. But it is Martin Heidegger who attributes a spatial value to the "between", the in-between is the space  that join two distinct things and elements. The German philosopher, therefore, links the concept of in-between to the notion of distance , interval and interstice. This concept was then reworked by the structuralists of the 1960s, and later by Jacques Deriddà and Jilles Deleuze, who continued to define the space in-between as the central element of a text. The text is in fact a sequence of strokes and spacing, without each of these elements the meaning would be lost. Also Eastern Culture has incorporated its definition of “between”, i.e. the Ma. It assumes the value of interval, space, pause.  "Ma" is, therefore, the neutral space or void that exists between two objects or sounds and creates a distance between them giving them meaning. The but therefore accentuates the discontinuity, it arises from a change, from an absence of symmetry, from the presence of difference that breaks the monotony.

In this sense, the buildings that overlook the central axis have been made asymmetrical and have been equipped with different facades, in order to accentuate the differences. The accesses and horizontal circulation of the building have in fact been positioned to the north. This façade was therefore designed with aluminum panels with different dimensions and angles in order to define different reflections of light and give a rhythm to the  façade. Nevertheless, the widows are not aligned and they seem to repeat themselves with a random pattern, actually marked by a sequence that is repeated shifted from floor to floor. The color of the north facades is dark. Taking up the oriental concept of "Ma", therefore,  pause or harmony in asymmetry, the facades overlooking the central axis have been defined by different tones and patterns, while maintaining some elements in common. They contrast between them, accentuating the theme of union of differences. The project is therefore based on dichotomies such as: urban-rural, full-empty, light-dark, north and south and on their relationship through a central axis of collective equipment.