Colours for growth
Many studies over recent years relating to the influence of the school environment on the growth and education of children have pointed to the importance of the architectural quality of infant schools, and led to an awareness and demand for renewal which cannot be ignored.
Montessori schools have an advantage in this area, since their curriculum is itself based on the need for the built environment to be suited to the life and very nature of the child, in order to allow him or her to develop freely. So it can be no mere coincidence that the great innovators of the new economy, the creative elite which is changing the world, from Larry Page and Serge Brin, the team behind Google, to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Jimmy Wales, the father of Wikipedia, all went to Montessori schools.
A fine example of a Montessori school is Italy is the Casa dei Bambini, Milan, a school with a long history which opened its new location in 2012: 1360 m2 of luminous interiors over four storeys, with large, welcoming rooms, easy to use for a variety of purposes, and a fine garden for outdoors activities, designed according to Montessorian architectural and aesthetic principles.
What stands out most strongly in the school is its use of colour as an integral part of its interior design, a project by Francesca Valan, the Milan designer who has made colour the foundation of her work: «the colour design goes hand in hand with the architectural design; colour may be the last thing to be applied, but it must be taken into consideration right from the start, otherwise it is simply a meaningless accessory». In the Casa dei Bambini, colour accompanies the children through the years, changing according to their age. The first floor is decorated with a classic harmony (yellow, magenta and cyan), while the second floor uses colder colours (blue, blue-green and green), and the third floor features warm colours (red, orange and magenta).
The neutral colours used throughout the school are warm (cream and rope) and this theme is repeated in the floors and neutral walls of the cloakrooms and washrooms.
The toilets deserve special mention: they are finished in 20×20 cm Ceramica Vogue porcelain tiles, using an extraordinary set of colours which flexibly follows the design as it changes from floor to floor in relation to the colours of the corridors and classrooms. The first floor feature pure colours in a chromatic sequence of yellow, orange, orange red, purple, green and light blue. On the second floor, the cold colours are compensated with warm colours (complementary oranges), and light blue bathrooms are used on the third floor to contrast with the warm colours of the corridors and rooms. In the closed bathrooms on the first and second floors, the internal door is coloured to match the tiles used in the interior, while the exterior matches the colour of the external tiles.
RF Seta - RF Ghiaccio - IN Ghiaccio - IN Cielo - IN Pistacchio - IN Papaya - IN Mandarino - IN Giallo - IN Cedro
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 1,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GB min.
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 3-4
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 1.000 N
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant