Jean-Baptiste Bruderer Architekten: Expansion of the Val d'Arve primary school - best architects 21

Jean-Baptiste Bruderer Architekten

Expansion of the Val d'Arve primary school

best architects 21

education buildings


Carouge, Switzerland


Francesco Ragusa


The new building is accessed via Route de Veyrier. The school’s new main entrance opens onto an oblong forecourt set several steps above street-level.  The alignment of the three-storey building references that of the existing structure and thereby highlights that this is a public building. The new-build draws on the context of the surrounding architecture and also integrates into the backdrop of the extant school buildings. The expansion serves as a filter for the building’s various functions. It separates public use from school use. On the ground floor, the two entrances lead to separate vertical access-structures, yet share the same stairwell and lift system. The caretaker’s apartment is located on the ground floor, facing the park. The workrooms are located on the first floor. The auditorium is the new school building’s crowning glory and finishing touch. The table-tennis club is to be found in the basement. A diagonal structure serves as an underground link between the new building and the existing one. The new building’s main access route is highlighted by the transition from a corner staircase to a parallel staircase on the first floor, creating a skylight above the main staircase on the ground floor. Like a sundial, the skylight brings rhythm to the day within this space. The project is defined by its monolithic appearance of white concrete, both externally and internally. The façades consist of an in-situ concrete sandwich construction with insulation between the two layers.