Hörsaalgebäude Weichenbauhalle, von Roll-Areal Bern
best architects 11
Bern | Schweiz
Walter Mair | Zürich
The existing structures and the new buildings on the former VonRoll site strive to create an architectural ensemble that continues the permanence of industry by gradually transforming the places of production into a “factory of thinking”. The railroad switch-points construction building, a building deemed worthy of preservation in the conservation authority’s inventory, is being transformed into a lecture hall centre containing seven auditoriums providing seating for 1,500 persons that will be opened in June 2010. With its intermediate climate the foyer is a differential space between the walls of the old hall, which are preserved in their integrity, and the two newly inserted, thermally insulated and sculpturally formed volumes. The openings in it allow natural lighting and offer a variety of views across the building, creating a kind of kaleidoscope that in the eye of the beholder forms a composite of old and new spatiality. The separating walls are a timber construction with high levels of acoustic and thermal insulation and an industrial cladding of cement-bound fibreboard panels that refers to the permanence of industry.