Fachhochschulzentrum St. Gallen
best architects 14 in Gold
The ambiguous building consists of a low-slung volume housing the classrooms, which frames the streets and squares and echoes the eaves height of the surrounding city buildings, along with a tower holding the institute premises, which forms a triad from across the rail tracks with the towers of the town hall and the main post office while also giving the building a solitary character. Located in the interior of the plan, the tower defines two different courtyards. The inner atrium serves as a library and forms with its stored knowledge the heart of the facility. The outer courtyard illuminates the corridors leading to the classrooms and the entrance hall below. The building’s outer shell consists of box-type windows and prefabricated, acid-treated concrete elements that tie together the building to create a cohesive impression. The appearance of the various parts is finely differentiated through differing reliefs in the concrete elements – the low part of the building has horizontal bands while the tower sports vertical pillars – and through varying textures.