On Thursday, 28 February at 6 pm, in Oris House of Architecture, there will be a lecture by Mia Roth and Tonči Čerina about their project Primary School in Popovača. It is a project located on the empty field of the Popovača border zone where it establishes a new coordinate system and enters the intact plain between streams and roads, bringing the community into its programming fields. The newly-built school was nominated for the Piranesi Award 2018 but also for this year's Mies van der Rohe Award.
School in Popovača
Located on an empty terrain of the periphery zone of Popovača, the school creates a new coordinate system; disposition defines its starting point in the quadrants of the new public space. By the act of seizing the pristine area between a stream and a road, the large building draws the community into its programme fields.
The school is planned as a binuclear complex of the hall and the school, organized around the basic access routes and the accompanying common spaces. With two points of support on the ground connected by the classroom spine on the floor, the school responds to the scale and rituals of the environment and establishes the spatial point of the identification of the community. Diverse needs of the big programme in a tame environment are wrapped by an augmented gable roof with a continuous bronze envelope. Main access areas to the school and the sports hall are also gathering points, articulated and connected by a hypertrophied porch. The pedestrian passage to the sports part of the plot on the north allows the use of the playground after school hours and connects it with the planned recreational zone. Separate parts of the outdoor programme, together with the tall greenery of the parks, are inserted into a unique urban planning and horticultural solution; islands of greenery, gardens, sports terrains or parking areas are emphasised in the environment of Popovača by the diversity of the materials as a new form of cultivated landscape.
The volumes follow the coordinate system, shaped by access axes of each group of the users, and are connected by a series of classrooms that face the landscape and galleries that face the inner space of the void of the multi-purpose space and the hall. Daylight in the classrooms is modulated by the combination of adjustable and perforated brise soleil and drums of circular skylights. Monochromatic materials – structure, polyurethane floors and asphalt surfaces make a neutral base of gathering points or free interventions that fill the space during school life.
Before the open public competition in 2007, Popovača was the champion of Croatian pronatalist policy. Local children were being transported to nearby schools because the local facilities were too small. Construction started in 2013.
Authors: Mia Roth and Tonči Čerina
Collaborators: Tajana Jaklenec, Nebojša Weiner, Tanja Herr, Alen Batista, IPRO inženjering
Client: Grad Popovača i Sisačko-moslavačka županija
Main constructor: Gradnja d.o.o.
Mia Roth Čerina and Tonči Čerina established a joint architectural practice Roth& Čerina in 1999. Mia graduated from the Zagreb Faculty of Architecture in 2000 and finished her PhD studies in 2015. She currently works at the Department of Architectural Design. Tonči graduated in 1998 and, before establishing his own practice, worked in APZ and City Office for the Strategic Planning and Development of the City. They have taken part in numerous competitions, mostly for educational and community facilities and have won numerous prizes. They are actively engaged in many forms of public activity; they give lectures on their projects and other topics, write, travel as guest critics, organize workshops and participate in the activity of professional associations.