Karamuk Kuo Architekten
Weiden School extension
best architects 19
Jona / Switzerland
The extension for the Weiden secondary school, housing a gymnasium and 24 classrooms, sits on the eastern part of the site between the existing secondary and primary school buildings. The compact form of the new building preserves the park-like character of the campus and turns the existing plinth into a collective schoolyard that connects the old and the new buildings while negotiating the changing heights of the landscape.
On the public ground floor, the assembly room and teachers’ lounges wrap around the sunken gym to produce multiple views while above it two storeys of timber construction unite the classrooms under one roof. On each of the upper levels, a ring of classrooms surrounds a central hall that can be used as a flexible learning landscape punctuated by four planted courtyards. Climbing plants stretch up the two floors of the courtyards at various angles, bringing vibrant color onto both classroom levels. The exposed beams provide an experiential continuity inside while the cantilevering beams support the egress balconies that give the building its lightweight expression outside.