The Civic Center for the community of the city of Follonica lives on the strength of the sun and is the result of participatory planning.
Entrusted to Politecnica in 2020, the project envisages a large, articulated, multifunctional architectural complex which, within Follonica's Central Park, will house a school complex for over 750 students and a facility for amateur and professional sports.
This is an innovative, complex and large-scale project (7150 square metres of school space and 1900 square metres of gymnasium), which Politecnica tackled by containing costs thanks to technological solutions designed to last over time and starting from the needs that emerged during the participatory planning phase involving the client, school administrators, authorities and representatives of town and sports associations.
Inserted in the Central Park, in continuity with the urban context and the sports area to the east, the Civic Center provides multiple volumes on three floors, with a mixed structure mainly raised on pillars and blocks developed from the ground for the atrium, library/bar, main hall, music laboratories and gymnasium. All rooms open to the community are on the ground floor and have independent entrances to the two schools.
The CONI-approved gymnasium is designed to host the sports activities of the school and the amateur sports clubs of the municipality of Follonica, as well as official (competitive) FSN and DSA activities, and will be used as a competitive sports facility for Basketball Basic Level (Category C Gold) and Volleyball (Category B1).
The system, structural and architectural solutions adopted aim at economic sustainability and durability. The steel and wood structures (wood is also used for the striking cross-beam roof of the gymnasium) are treated to resist the aggression of salt. The finishing materials are diversified room by room, according to the activities to be carried out. The systems, integrated in the false ceilings or visible, are in any case protected and easy to inspect.
The teaching spaces are designed as nuclei connected by wide recreational corridors, basic classrooms and support classrooms, laboratory spaces. The whole building and the various nuclei are designed to encourage relations between students and space sharing.
The tranquillity of the educational activities is guaranteed: the library with reading area, the gymnasium, the main hall and the laboratories are open to the public during extra-school hours.
A three-phase photovoltaic power plant with a maximum power output of 92 kWp serves the entire complex. To ensure maximum integration of the panels into the architectural image, the system is installed on the roof of the gymnasium, which is inclined at an angle of 7°.
With a view to sustainable mobility, a recharging station capable of delivering 7kW to 22kW is installed in the school car park.
Attention to the life cycle of the entire building led to optimising the use of materials, to cut costs during construction and at the same time reduce the impact on future maintenance or disposal costs. Everything has been calibrated to make the size of spaces and systems, as well as the use of materials, essential as per requirements and regulations.
The project was planned from the outset on the basis of exchange and sharing activities with various figures and associations. Participatory planning involved the school management, institutions, neighbourhood associations and sports associations.