Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati


Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

Behind the sheer concrete walls of this agricultural school building in eastern Switzerland is an auditorium with an exposed timber frame.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

The building was designed by Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati and features a roof that pitches sharply upwards from a low-rise entrance facade to a rear wall that is more than three times as tall.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

Low-level windows on opposite sides of the hall direct natural light towards a lecture stand at the front, while up to 180 students can be seated in rows behind.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

We also recently featured a red concrete music studio by architect Valerio Olgiati, which you can see here.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

Photography is by Javier Miguel Verme.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

The description below is from Valerio Olgiati:

Plantahof Auditorium

The placement of the new auditorium creates a new central square within the overall structure of the Plantahof agriculture school. The high façade holds together the new piazza.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

The inner space of the auditorium lies in half-light. Two windows facing each other define the inner space and allow for a view from the new piazza towards the axis of the Prättigau valley. A thin, dark coloured, concrete wall stretches over the pillars and beams like a tent. These elements are supported outside the building by the abutments. The structure combines in equal measure a frame and a solid construction. The result is a hybrid of pillars and walls, expressing an architectural concept and lending the building character.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

The new auditorium is multifunctional and has a capacity of 130 to 180 seats. In addition to its conventional use, the new hall has the capacity to host different kinds of events such as seminars, congresses and panel discussions.

Plantahof Auditorium by Valerio Olgiati

Object: auditorium
Location: Landquart, Switzerland
Competition: 1. prize, 2008
Client: Building control department of Canton Grison
Architect: Valerio Olgiati
Collaborators: Nathan Ghiringhelli (project manager office Olgiati), Daisuke Kokufuda
Construction supervisor: Georg Nickisch, Franz Bärtsch, ARGE Nickisch/Bärtsch, Chur
Structural engineer: Patrick Gartmann, Conzett Bronzini Gartmann AG, Chur
Materials: anthracite in-situ concrete, steel, chrome-nickel-steel
Begin of planning: november 2008
Begin of construction: october 2009
End of construction: october 2010
Volume: 2,240 m3 (SIA 416)
Area: 270 m2

  • the architect inside me likes it, while the person inside me is despaired

  • Chris

    Not entirely responsive to the context now is it? This would be beautiful as a gallery, but a school? Are you bloody kidding me?

  • Ian

    Unforgivable. Clumsy, ugly, without merit.

  • Mike

    Best architect out there right now.

  • hotte

    I adore Olgiatis work but this one is only good as a work of art, its not doing well as architecture for teaching…

  • Mert Yilmaz

    I like some of Valerio Olgiati's buildings, but when compared to the Brazilian modernists work in concrete, from which he barrows so heavily, one must admit that it his own work is horribly uptight and lacking in soul…almost facist.

  • CokeSlogan

    Austere, serious, and Swiss. The space seems to have the quality of a video game environment. I like it.

  • martini-girl

    Oh my.

    There is absolutely nothing positive to be said abouot this work.

    As a learning environment it fails. As a piece of beauty it fails. As a building that uses it's onw space wisely, it fails.

    I could go on but even thinking about it depresses me.

  • robert

    concrete and again concrete, dark and depressing, looks like a funeral chapel.

  • seth

    so sad but beautiful, i think i need some prozac

  • Tuckwell

    I’mwondering if Olgiati was inpired by Lewerentz’s last work, the Flower Kiosk at Malmo cemetery……….anyway very beautifully detailed!

  • Angry Swiss guy

    If Landquart is located western switzerland…. NYC is on west cost.

    • heidi

      grüezi angry swiss guy: everybody can make such a misstake!

      please inform readers better, that the village of landquart is in the eastern part of switzerland, more exactly in the canton graubünden, between the regio of peter zumthor (around chur) and the regio of peter märkli (around sargans). lots of concrete, go and see it!

  • bob

    Front and interior are so inspiring but, in my opinion, there is no idea for back side elevation/roof

  • Michael

    Olgiati deserves the benefit of any doubt I think and most of these doubts are based on not being able to experience the building in reality. It seems to me a very serious building but with subtle moves which take it away from purely functional brutalism into something much more poetic.

    “Beauty” as used by some people here as a bat to beat the architect with is purely subjective and therefore at best

    meaningless as a comment, at worst just insulting (dare I say ignorant).

  • Ogier de Beauseant

    No hint of context in the photos but I'd guess this is off the wall in comparison. Very powerful image inside and out that might be unsettling I would think. Seems over the top for it's purpose.

  • It looks great in photos – although a bit hard and cold for the end users…

  • xtiaan

    as a building its beautiful, it has a muted severity
    but Im not sure its suited to its use as a school, unless its a military school that is.

  • i know that it is very easy to critisize another's work- but in this case i feel justified to some extent. The architecture itself is great, i am a big fan of concrete in its raw form being used in decorative architecture. however, the architect, as so many architects do, has completely missed the needs of the end users which is of course the main objective. what use is an architecturally inspiring building when the use has been way-layed? also, the interiors have been completely disregarded. surely the budget should have been worked so that the architect could create the exterior whilst also leaving enough money for decent chairs- the reason for the auditorium in the first place? …

  • A nice setting for the town's Two minutes of Hate

  • Macqueen

    I am reminded of Rothko's chapel in Houston TX, that too has a beautiful austerity.
    It's a wee bit 'bunker-like" but I am certain the play of light on the exterior and interior will make for some dramatic moments.

  • scamster

    reminds me of the famous Apple advert for the release of Apple II in 1984.

  • mks

    I'd like to note that much of the interior darkness seems te come from the fact that, well, the lineair tubelight elements aren't lighted for photographical reasons.

  • Nicolas Roll

    I am a swiss architecte since 25 years and I'm completly chocked by this bunker. It is an eyesore. The beauty is perhaps an insult in this country ?

  • Lisa veit

    Well it got all our attention, didn’t it?!!! ;-)

    I think that he wins, people!

    (But yes, hard, uncompromising, insensitive, ugly beautiful, raw. SCHOOL…. you’ve got to be kidding me.)