The Pencil Box

The Pencil Box

This Montessori elementary school building in San Felice sul Panaro was realized in only 50 days following the earthquake emergency in Emilia Romagna in 2012. Known as the ‘Pencil Box’ the main facade of the building is formed of a series of brightly colored pillars that create a “colored world” for the students.From the square, the building has a concrete wall that acts as a fence. A strong, imposing, rough wall aims to convey an idea of strength and protection for parents who bring their children to school. Whereas, within the fence the colored environment is intended to improve the quality of the environment, and the motivation of its users, children, students and teachers.Numerous studies have already been undertaken to show how the correct use of color in different age groups can promote the users’ psychological well-being and ability to concentrate. An educational environment (a space for learning and growth) requires a degree of comfort that comes through the psychological sensory perception that only a pleasant and personalized environment, with the most suitable colors, can give. An emotionally and psychologically stimulating environment helps to strengthen the sense of involvement of students to the school, which becomes an integral part of their identity.The Pencil Box project by architects Sergio de Gioia, Paolo Didonè and Fabrizio Michielon won 3rd place in the New Italian Blood 2014 competition.

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