Settanta7 studio associato - Silvio Pellico middle school in Varese, an avantgarde retrofitting
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Silvio Pellico middle school in Varese, an avantgarde retrofitting

Settanta7 studio associato

Education  /  Completed
Settanta7 studio associato
The redevelopment of the building, thanks to a precise architectural intervention on the exterior image and on the interior, will generate a positive impact on the urban context and the well-being of the school population.
The Silvio Pellico middle school in Varese, designed in the seventies by the Valle studio in prefabricated cement, is located in a context characterized by the strong presence of greenery and views of the pre-alps surrounding the city.
Thanks to a careful analysis of the current state of affairs and the information gathered by the administration and school users, we have noted the critical aspects of the existing building and developed an innovative framework of intervention; The main objective was to develop a retrofitting strategy, potentially replicable, that would allow the achievement of high energy standards with an energy consumption close to zero (nzeb-near zero energy building).

As mayor Davide Galimberti says, "Varese has finally the first school with zero impact. A concentration of technologies that allow children to fully live the technological evolution, but above all a new way of life sustainable, eco-friendly and with a particular attention to the environment and greenery. The goal is to create many schools like this around the city because we need to create school buildings that are safe but also environmentally friendly."

The school building in Varese consists of two buildings on two floors that host respectively the educational spaces and the gym, connected by a tunnel on the first floor.
Inside the first block, along with the educational spaces, there is an auditorium, accessible from the school and the garden, to ensure its usability even outside school hours.
From the structural point of view, we intervened on the existing casing, in prefabricated panels, replacing them with sustainable and high-performance X-lam wood walls, attached to the supporting structure with beams and pillars.

This solution, in addition to ensuring excellent energy performance of the casing, has allowed us to save considerably on the timing of the construction site. All existing plants have been removed and replaced with more efficient ones, to drastically reduce energy consumption. With this objective, 210 photovoltaic panels were installed on the green roof, which provide 80% of the energy consumed by the school.

The plant interventions are useful to achieve the NZEB goal. All existing plants have been removed and replaced with other which are more efficient and ensure low energy consumption. The energy demand is met by the energy produced by the photovoltaic system positioned on the roof, consisting of 210 photovoltaic panels of 320 kwp, for a total production of 67.2 kwp (+10% compared to regulations).
We have created a new independent heating/ cooling system (VRV-VRF), equipped with 5 external units with heat recovery units, and thermostats connected to the centralized BMS system for temperature regulation.

The production of hot water is undertaken by the presence of generators in a roof-top heat pump with CO2 probe to modulate the percentage of air taken from the outside and contribute to energy savings.
All the waterspouts lead to an underground collection tank of 25 m3. The collected water is reused for irrigation of the green roof with a lifting tank before entering the sewer.
Thanks to the technological and plant solutions created, the school will obtain the Casaclima certification.


 Varese (VA)
 Comune di Varese
 4400 mq
 Settanta7 Studio Associato
 Settanta7 Studio Associato (capogruppo), Mate engineering, ing. Margherita Mazzoni, arch. Lorenzo Albai
 Settanta7 Studio Associato


The associate studio Settanta7, born in 2009 in a small room for rent, now has a total of 4 locations, Turin, Milan, Lyon and Acireale, in which there are about forty professionals. We design schools, gyms, public buildings in Italy and France. We make projects that not only serve, but become indispensable and precious. We are attentive to what happens outside our scenario and we know how to listen. By the end of this journey, marked by poetry, technological research, choice of natural materials and too many coffees we are pleased to have opened a breach of wonder and beauty.
Since 2014 we use BIM design tools, which allows us to think big and produce integrated and ambitious projects, with high efficiency in terms of time and design quality.
We address every project with the aim of minimizing its economic and environmental impact. That’s why we design using X-LAM wood: sustainable, renewable, antisimic.

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