best architects 19 in gold
Port / Switzerland
Simon von Gunten
The new school building in Port is located in a residential area. With its multiply folded roof, the structure relates to the topography and granularity of the neighbouring gable-roofed houses. The school building links the east and west directions from which the school children arrive as well as forming both an external and internal connecting axis. The rooms are laid out diagonally to the main points of the compass and to the roof ridges. This staggered setup allows for versatile connections between them and hence maximum flexibility in use. While the classrooms on the main façades are set at the corners and thus receive light from two sides, seven skylights also provide daylight for the rooms in the central zone of the large building.
The school building was largely constructed using prefabricated timber elements. The box beam elements in the roof construction are not only part of the structural engineering system but also perform acoustic and ventilation functions. The façade was clad in rear-ventilated, pressure-impregnated wood. In addition to a well-insulated, tight building envelope, optimised building technology with heat recovery as well as efficient LED lighting, the large proportion of wood in the structure also reduces the ratio of grey energy. A photovoltaic installation on the roof produces enough electricity to cover the school’s needs as well as the annual consumption of around fifty additional households. The plus-energy building is MINERGIE-A® certified.
»The large scale of the new school building skilfully relates to the grain and typology of its built surroundings thanks to the structure selected and a roof landscape with multiple angles. The resulting sequence of spaces within generates a differentiated range of qualities – providing added value for new forms of teaching and a welcome and important alternative to the classical typology of classrooms along a corridor.«
(Statement of the Jury)
»Architecture is concrete, each design unique, developed from the totality of the parameters underlying each task. Not only the project-specific peculiarities, but also the local context as well as superordinate social topics are design-determining contents.«