Project NameElementary School Vřesovice - Reconstruction of Baroque Rectory
Posted inPublic facilities
Project TeamJiří Markevič (Public Atelier), Jaroslav Sedlák (FUUZE)
|Project Name||Elementary School Vřesovice - Reconstruction of Baroque Rectory||Posted in||Public facilities||Location||
|Project Team||Jiří Markevič (Public Atelier), Jaroslav Sedlák (FUUZE)||Area (sqm)||950||Completed||2019|
A few years back, the kindergarten and elementary school of the small municipality of Vřesovice in the Czech Republic moved into the town’s former rectory, a majestic baroque complex recognized as a national cultural monument. When there was a need to reconstruct some parts of the centuries-old building and add an extension later on, Czech architecture practices Public Atelier and Studio FUUZE saw an opportunity not just to expand the school’s capacity, restore the rapidly decaying roof trusses and rectify the unsatisfactory state of its inner courtyard as the brief demanded, but also to engage with the building’s architectural heritage and establish a playful dialogue between past and present.
The fact that the historic complex consists of several buildings built in different eras and for different purposes resulted in a poorly configured circulation layout so the concept of interconnection became the starting point of the reconstruction. By connecting the various buildings, the architectural intervention not only allows the primary school and day care centre’s students and staff to conveniently and freely move across the grounds to make use of all the facilities, both existing and new, but also highlights its historic value as a complex. To do so, numerous passageways have been restored and new ones have been constructed ensuring for free movement in both practical and symbolic terms.
Rather than appropriating the historic architecture in order to integrate the new construction into the existing building fabric, the architects have chosen instead to differentiate the new from the old through the bold use of colour and form. Using a vibrant palette of primary colours and a geometric language of cubic forms, the new additions pop out against the arched loggias, limestone facades and gable roofs. The use of colour is a welcomed gesture in a school environment, creating a jovial ambience and even allowing children to choose their favourite colour.
Featuring two classrooms that open out onto a grassy courtyard with views of the Church of St. Peter and Paul, and two additional classrooms for vocational training housed in the refurbished attic, the new facilities that the team designed are characterised by a neutral colour palette which, in contrast to the colourful exterior, ensure that students aren’t easily distracted. That’s not to say that the interiors are bland, on the contrary, the circulation spaces in the newly built sections are swathed in colour matching their exterior while the attic spaces are marked by an impressive Baroque roof structure which has been meticulously refurbished. In combination with expanded capacity and improved circulation, the latest restoration project has given the Baroque complex a new life but more importantly has made school a much more fun experience for the children.