Atelier PRO and Buro Sant en Co design International School Letovo in southwest Moscow

Atelier PRO architects officially received the commission to design a new high school for 1000 students in southwest Moscow. Letovo International School will become one of the signature features of a new city district called Novaya Moskva that will be developed as part of a wider master plan. Atelier PRO architects won in collaboration with Buro Sant en Co, landscape architects, the international competition with the design of a modern school campus. The Russian counterpart will be Atrium architectural studio.

Letovo International School is situated in a new development located along the A101 beltway south of Moscow. With a master plan designed by Dutch practice Maxwan, this new district comprises 2200 hectares for living, working, studying and recreation for 300,000 people. The school is also located close to the village of Letovo, on a beautiful site along a river. Atelier PRO architects collaborated with Dutch landscape architecture practice Buro Sant and Co and Atrium, our Russian partner, to design a modern school and school campus that support the varied, innovative education programme, which focuses on science, arts, sports and theatre. The high school will eventually accommodate 1000 students, of which up to half will also live on campus.

The 10-hectare site is divided into 7 hectares for sports and recreation areas, and 3 hectares for school buildings. The campus offers various sports facilities such as a football field, ski lodge, basketball courts, tennis courts and swimming pool. With their park-like landscape, the outdoor spaces offer ample room for recreation or just meeting outdoors. The section with school buildings accommodates boarding houses, teachers' residence and social spaces. The Central Hub forms the heart of the school that connects the sports and art wings, and teaching areas. The auditorium, canteen and living spaces are located in the Hub. The boarding houses are situated in separate buildings close to the river, connected with the main school building by tunnels that provide sheltered passage during the colder months.

With its rich architecture, the Central Hub is a delight to experience or just wander through. Visitors arrive from street level along a gently ascending forecourt onto the piano nobile. The balcony here provides a stunning view of the campus, which slopes towards the river. From the school entrance, a wide tribune stair leads to the main school hall, the daily assembly space. When the hall is connected with the auditorium, for example during graduation ceremonies, the entire space can accommodate up to 1000 people. The Central Hub connects three wings, shaped like a scalene triangle, that house the different departments ranging from sport and science to art. On-campus student housing is designed as a small community to create a home-like atmosphere. A multi-storey building contains teachers’ accommodation, with dwellings varying from four-room apartments to hotel-like rooms for short stays. 

The clients’ ambition is to create a private non-profit school that will become the country’s leading school and combine the best educational practices, both local and international. It will offer an International Baccalaureate® (IB) program and establish a holistic approach to its students. The school will provide the highest levels of education and encourage students’ personal development. It will be a true learning environment across all subjects and interests; all campus facilities and functions will support that ambition.

Construction is planned for mid-2015. The first classes are expected to start in 2017.