Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Schulhaus Baumgarten, Schule Buochs, Buochs, Switzerland

Exemplary design categories: flexible learning settings, music and theatre facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The school was commissioned to provide additional space for the school. The exterior draws on local architectural traditions. With a textured façade of white wood panels and a pitched roof, the new building is well integrated in its surroundings. Numerous windows provide users with views down to the lake and to the nearby mountains. Inside, there are two contrasting styles and floor plans. The ground and basement levels are divided by a generous corridor. This functions as a meeting and circulation space, and gives clear sight lines to the connected rooms. Here, the architecture uses mainly concrete and brick. Interior finishings include coloured glass, clay tiles and rhythmically positioned concrete piers. Elm is used for doors and stair rails. On the upper floor, there is a compact arrangement of classrooms and group rooms along the longitudinal spine of the building. The roof has a series of folds, which varies the height of the ceiling. The layout of this area is flexible and it can be easily reorganised into different learning spaces. Across the width of the building, each pair of classrooms is connected to a group room. These are in the centre of the building, and the glass partitions at each end of the group rooms can be opened up to allow the rooms to be used in clusters. A sophisticated system provides lots of natural light throughout the upper level. Spaces in the centre of the building receive indirect sunlight through the classrooms as well as natural light through windows under the stepped roof. This part of the building has a prefabricated wood structure, which significantly reduced construction time. The walls, door and window frames are made of white wood. The architects worked closely with the client and a planning committee consisting of representatives from various educational, political and community stakeholders.

Activity Areas: 8 classrooms, 4 specialist classrooms together with a music room and offices for school staff

Project costs: CHF 7,900,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"

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User perspectives (1)

"The educational concept has been directly translated into a spatial idea. Our need for flexibility, in which classrooms and group rooms can be easily combined or shared, is fully served. The new school building allows us to organise and create our daily school life more effectively."
Vreni Intlekofer, administrator, Schule Buochs

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cross section (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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site plan (Registration required)
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