MJ2B Architekten: Schoolhouse and gymnasium, Holderbank - best architects 24

MJ2B Architekten

Schoolhouse and gymnasium, Holderbank

best architects 24

education buildings


Holderbank, Switzerland




Seraina Wirz


The existing school complex in Holderbank was extended towards the eastern end of the plot by adding a simple structure. The building, set parallel to the cantonal road, blends calmly into the existing urban development. The aboveground, two-storey construction sits slightly cantilevered on a long retaining wall that supports the rising topography and creates a level exterior space between Talstrasse and Trottengasse. The spatial programme for education and gymnastics is stacked in one building. A self-supporting staircase connects all floors vertically via a full-height atrium. The foyer on the ground floor serves as the main entrance for both functions. Directly adjacent is a large multi-purpose room with a kitchen, which accommodates after-school care activities. One floor below is the gymnasium, hosting a single playing field and all necessary ancillary rooms. The hall extends from the basement to the first floor and is therefore optimally lit with daylight. The structure sitting above accommodates the rooms of the elementary school. General classrooms, special subject classrooms and group rooms for a total of six classes as well as rooms for the teaching staff are arranged on two identical floors. In the centre, differently sized spaces create suspense through a meandering hallway that also accommodates the wardrobes and offers additional lounge areas between the group rooms behind oak-framed windows.