Scuola delle AgriCulture

A cooking space is an essential element when first inhabiting a place. It is the center of conversion, where both raw ingredients are transformed into meals and ideals are nourished and confronted.

After obtaining permission to transform Castiglione’s unoccupied elementary school into an agriculture school, the association Casa delle AgriCulture invited Constructlab and Free Home University to be its first in-house residents. Their idea being that of transforming the building into a place where both culture and agriculture converge and that of creating a central point to share their different activities with the citizens of Castiglione.

Furthermore, the occupation of the school happened in parallel to the building up of the annual Notte Verde, an evening based on three principles: agriculture, utopia and community, transforming the town into a manifesto of the alternative agricultural practices present in Salento. In this context the kitchen would serve as a place for the association, the artists in residency and the neighbours to meet, nourish and and discuss after long days of work. But also as a way to slowly and respectfully inhabit a space that locals have always seen as the local elementary school.

Wanting the kitchen to be accessible to everybody, we decided to build it in the school backyard. The basketball court became our building ground. Using remaining wood from last year’s construction at a near by project and re-using the school chairs and tables, a kitchen started taking shape. A light and movable set of modules were the result of our building days. A cooking area around the year’s sink, five tables to eat and work on and ten benches to arrange according to the day’s activities.

Cooking moments, meals and discussions animated the kitchen before, during and after its construction. It welcomed, during its first weeks, a theatre play, a bread workshop, and endless moments of discussion around the future of alternative agricultural practices from Italy and abroad.




Image Credits: Constructlab