This vast educational complex in the Croatian capital of Zagreb is divided into three functional units arranged along a linear axis. The school at the heart of the facility features three parallel, three-story bars and is complemented by a lower nursery and kindergarten building to the west and a partially subsurface gymnasium to the east. The compact grouping of the three structures frees up a large portion of the site for outdoor facilities, while the classroom slabs are lifted from the ground to create a continuous sheltered gathering and circulation space. The three buildings share the same scale and geometry and feature common design elements.
Apart from exposed concrete pillars and timber ceilings, which metaphorically transform the central schoolyard into an artificial forest, almost the entire complex is clad in uniform black Swisspearl fiber cement panels accentuated by steel fire escape stairs and numerous timber-framed doors and windows. The spatial conception of the school building inspired the large-scale application of perforated panels. Accessed via lateral corridors, all classrooms are oriented toward the sun and benefit from all-day direct sunlight through extensive glazing. To counterpoint the openness of the south-facing frontages, architect Vedran Pedišić and his collaborators devised entirely windowless rear elevations, punctured by myriad circular perforations, which feed dappled light into the interior and create special visual effects inside corridors, staircases and,—most daringly—lavatories.
Ulica Žarka Dolinara
City of Zagreb
Sangrad + AVP, Zagreb (Vedran Pedišić, Erick Velasco Farrera, Hrvoje Davidovski, Mladen Hofmann, Iva Marjančević)
Swisspearl, Carat Black Opal 7020 HR
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