The design for “NaturAtelier” (Nature-Atelier), “SerrAtelier” (Greenhouse-Atelier) and “Teatro della lettura” (the Theatre of Reading) constitute three complementary stages of a research into educational spaces, undertaken by studio Iotti+Pavarani in 2017 with the creation of school-based ateliers in three different settings, two nursery schools in Cosenza and Assisi and one primary school in Piancastagnaio (Siena).

These projects form part of the FARE SCUOLA (School Making) initiative promoted and supported by Enel Cuore and Fondazione Reggio Children with the aim of improving the quality of the learning environment in 60 nursery and primary schools throughout Italy.

These projects thus involve the adaptation of spaces within three schools, ensuring a welcoming atmosphere is combined with elements designed to stimulate curiosity and the sense of discovery, allowing children to establish an autonomous and constructive relationship with the space, others and themselves.

The three designs have been drawn up to meet the specific requirements of the schools in which they are located. They share the same philosophy in their initial approach, seeking to generate an overall landscape, promoting dialogue between dynamic settings and a more intimate scale appropriate to the child’s first introduction. They are characterised by a use of natural materials in order to exploit their characteristic colours, textures and smells.

The design seeks to enhance the spaces created by the school’s Square and Atelier, treating the two  in the same way,  characterising them with a succession of shaped wooden portals, establishing a rhythm  and redefining the space, making it more welcoming, stimulating and communicative.

The reconfiguration of these areas takes its inspiration from the archetype of the greenhouse: a luminous place for “growth” intended above all, as a space for freedom  - available for re-invention and re-interpretation, ideal for the direct experimentation with, and involvement of, the children in manual, creative and purely physical activities.

Both the exclusive use of wood throughout and the presence of different kinds of plants are intended to provide a domestic and natural feeling for the spacious and luminous environments while also maintaining their promise as places of discovery.

The Square has been designed as essentially an unrestricted space where the children  can give free rein to physical movement. The wooden portals are supplemented with a message-board for various communications and tiered seating for welcoming assemblies and collective events.

The Atelier Hall is however fitted with more equipment and represents a true teaching laboratory: a single large working table at the centre for group activities, an easel for drawing, a child-sized wheeled table with walls complete with recesses, shelves and trolleys providing spaces to find and replace a highly varied selection of materials for use in creative activities. In particular, the wall shelving provides a safe environment for small in-door plants, a touch of Nature characteristic of a greenhouse. The trolleys are arranged in such a way as to hold a variety of objects of different sizes in combination with an overhead projector.

  • Client
    Fondazione Reggio Children with Enel Cuore Onlus
  • Project Team

    Iotti+Pavarani Architetti

  • Design Team

    Paolo Iotti, Marco Pavarani
    Giulia Piacenti, Roberto Bertani, Stefano Nicolini, Gabriele Brunettini


    Fondazione Reggio Children:
    Barbara Donnici, Elena Giacopini (responsible for pedagogical coordination),
    Marco Cingi, Oliver Forghieri, Massimiliano Massimelli (Head of communications)

  • Contractor

    Oleari Srl - Wood Interiors Company

  • Phase
  • Schedule

    2017 - Design and construction

  • Budget
    50.000 eur
  • Photos
    Iotti+Pavarani Architetti