Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Bildungscampus Sonnwendviertel Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Exemplary design categories: comfort, cost efficiency, flexible learning settings, furniture

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The main objective of the initiative was to take into account the demands of modern pedagogy. The project promotes a typological paradigm shift of the spatial articulation of classrooms, and interior-exterior activities across the entire campus.

Each classroom, project area and teachers’ room are clustered around a central market place, which can also be used in teaching.

The kindergarten, primary school and lower-secondary school have their separate access to the urban surroundings that encircles the school site. The school buildings are individually connected to a common core of the school, which consists of dining areas with transparent walls, a library and a multipurpose hall, which is connected to the sports facilities below by a generous staircase. This passage binds the different parts of the school together.

In order to provide an outdoor classroom, also for the class rooms above the ground floor level, the classrooms on the first floor shift horizontally so that the roof of one ground floor classroom is the outside space for the classroom one floor above. In this way the building encourages interior-exterior activities across all year levels.

The façade of the campus building function like the inner walls of the open school yards. These open spaces are differentiated in a circulating landscape and three differentiated “yards” that are specifically assigned to each school type.

The physical overlaps of the facilities between kindergarten, primary school and lower secondary school encourages interaction and learning between children that are more than ten years apart in age.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
In the comprehensive preparations of the architectural competition teachers and other school environment specialists were involved in developing an extensive list of criteria for the new school that was to be built. Rather than focusing on the form and structure of the building, the criteria described the everyday-life of the users, and the activities and teaching methods the users would like to be able to do in the building.

In order to transfer these requirements into the concrete design of the buildings, the architects visited about one hundred school facilities, where they asked for teachers' and students' feedback.

Activity Areas: 11 kindergarten spaces, 17 classrooms in primary school, 17 classrooms in secondary school, triple sports hall, gymnastics hall, library, multi-purpose hall, youth centre, diverse outdoor areas.

Project costs: EUR 38,000,000.00

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User perspectives (2)

After six months at our new school, I gained a lot of impressions and facts, concerning the learning environment and how architecture influences learning, mood and behaviour. At first, the overall transparency that our Bildungscampus offers was new, strange and made students and teachers kind of nervous. But only a couple of weeks later, the students even didn`t notice people walking by their classes. The classrooms built in a circle around a central marketplace, including a teachers room, makes it a very intense and intimate learning unit, because the lessons and the leasure times take place within this unit, called „cluster“. Opening the classrooms to the marketplace and to the outside classrooms gives the students the possibility to learn in different groups and settlements and, as a side effect, helps to open their minds! The students and the teachers feel good because of the open spaces and aggressions remarkably went down since we started in September 14. Even if not everything is perfect, it is fun, pleasure and an honour to work here in this outstanding new school with my kids and my teachers and all the stuff we have around!
Andreas Gruber, head of secondary school
The kindergarten, elementary school and new middle school are linked spatially in a pioneering campus design. The demands of educational institutions for the 21st century such as full-time care, inclusion, team work, and the establishment of new learning cultures find their corresponding form in the physical environment. Clusters each have four classrooms, connected niches, outdoor classes, different zones as common areas and open space for diverse uses. Together with the outdoor spaces, they form an ideal continuum of related learning and experiential environments. Indeed, the clusters favour communication, participation, social embeddedness and thus also democracy of learning. Both individualisation and differentiation are possible at the same time, turning the student into the agent and stimulating self-directed learning. In the future, schools will focus on teamwork, even more than today. In order to help students develop these skills, the spatial design aims at providing room to encourage both joint planning and discussions as well as communication and retreat.
Mag. Dr. Franz Hammerer, University College of Teacher Education Vienna/Krems

Images (16)

Drawings (15)

Ground floor plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
O1, O2, O3 floor plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
shifting classrooms (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
types of classrooms (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
furniture plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
Cluster (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
location paln (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
sequence of sections (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
3-child table (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
3-child table combinations (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
graphic – artistic design – library of forms (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
graphic – artistic design – colours (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
site plan (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: PPAG architects
cluster (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: PPAG architects
site plan (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: PPAG architects