location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
building area: 2,273 sq. m
date: 2020

architect: Mino Caggiula
project manager: Thomas Giuliani, Luca Zingaro

The new intervention for the construction of two sports halls and the expansion of the College du Parcs in Neuchâtel sets 3 planning principles + 1, which are divided into HISTORY, LOCATION, CONCEPT and WELL-BEING.

The analysis of the urban fabric shows a strong presence of slopes and the clear preexistence of terrace viticulture, which was practiced in the past in most of the territory of Neuchâtel.
The terracing clearly characterizes the entire urban structure of the town, by placing itself around the historic centre by means of sharp differences in altitude.
The plan deals with these issues by developing a project that is accessible to everyone and that meets the needs of today’s life, by following the principles of safety and circulation required by the competition notice.

The pronounced horizontality required by the urban principle of terracing shows, within the lot at issue, two possible spaces to interpret.
The playground in the south and the new expansion of the school respectively represent two regular elements in accordance with the existing alignments, and with the planimetry and the volumetry of the macro area.

The Project suggests a conservative aspect in relation to the ISOS components for the conservation of the preexisting elements. The union of NEW and PREEXISTING elements safeguards the historical memory of the site and fosters urban usability, which makes the entire section a place of collective interest.

The new intervention recalls from a contemporary perspective not only the horizontality typical of the terracing that characterizes the territory of Neuchâtel, but also the typical French roofs, which are reinterpreted, by communicating with the preexisting elements of the context and highlighting the superimposition theme in an accurate, non-invasive way, with discretion in relation to the existing language.

The spaces marked by the new architecture are reflected in terms of well-being with an expression made of multiple nuances.

Starting from the construction method, moving on to the type of materials used, and lastly arriving at the purposes established for the new structure. The choices were conceived by valuing human connection, by offering a public space that would have to be appealing and interconnected with the rest of the town, as a catalyst that would