Swiss school extension by Zwimpfer Partner
and BBK fronted by slender wooden battens

| 12 comments
 

Internal lighting shines between the vertical larch battens that clad this extension to a primary school near Basel by Swiss firms Zwimpfer Partner Architekten and BBK Architekten.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

Situated in the centre of the village of Biel-Benken, the facility by Zwimpfer Partner Architekten and BBK Architekten adds to the original buildings at Kilchbühl school, which date from 1964.



It comprises two interconnected wings containing teaching facilities and a gym hall that fill a vacant plot between the existing buildings and a new village square at the other end of the site.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

The schoolhouse section was completed last year and was joined more recently by the perpendicular gym hall, forming a sheltered outdoor space between the L-shaped exterior and the original school.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

Both sections of the building feature concrete cores wrapped entirely in battens of untreated local larch with different depths, which create a pattern across the facades that alters when viewed from different angles.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

"A rhythmic sequence of larch wood panels leads the eye along the exterior walls," said the architects.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

The wooden cladding covers high window openings on the west-facing wall of the gym hall to limit the amount of direct sunlight entering the building.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

"Interacting with the inner space of the building the wooden facade stays tangible in every room and influences the atmosphere by reflecting and filtering the sunlight," said the team.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

The gymnasium burrows into a sloping section of the site and features exposed concrete beams supporting the large span of its ceiling.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

Daylight entering the hall through clerestory windows is supplemented by strip lighting between the ceiling beams. Walls are painted white and the open space can be configured in various ways.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

At the highest part of the plot, a concrete ramp connects the older part of the school to an entrance on the upper floor of the two-storey teaching building.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

This level houses the classrooms and adjoining groupwork rooms, while additional work spaces, storage and technical facilities are located on the lower storey.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

Dappled light filtering through the timber screens illuminates the stairwells connecting the two levels, which feature wooden handrails set into the concrete walls.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG

A long corridor that bisects the school building on the ground floor contains low-level concrete benches and storage integrated into white fitted cabinetry so the space can be used as a cloakroom.

Photography is by Johannes Marburg and Eik Frenzel.

school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG
Site plan – click for larger image
school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
school and gym by Zwimpfer Partner AG
First floor plan – click for larger image
Swiss school extension by Zwimpfer and BBK
Long section – click for larger image
  • Melle

    Remids me a bit too much of Miralles 6 Houses in Borneo in Amsterdam:

    http://europaconcorsi.com/projects/134149-Miralles-Tagliabue-EMBT-6-Houses-in-Borneo-Eiland

    • omnicrom

      Um… no?

      • Melle

        You’re right, wrong tab ;)

  • http://be.net/bassel Bassel

    I like the mean concrete interiors. They make the perfect backdrop to shoot a movie about bullying. Especially that dramatic staircase.

  • JayCee

    No colour. No life. No fun.

  • http://www.elliotmorgandesigner.com Elliot Morgan

    That floor… Gorgeous building.

  • Rik

    The noise that a bunch of kids create in those hard, reflective spaces must be very loud and irritating. I recently bought a house that looks great, but sounds terrible and have been trying to solve it.

    Why are acoustics virtually ignored in almost all architecture that gets posted? Sure it looks good on a picture, but hard materials and large empty spaces are dreadful to be in for any prolonged period of time.

  • Anthony

    I think everyone is forgetting that this is a Swiss building for Swiss children.

  • PETER

    Poor kids.

  • Soupdragon

    That’s a pretty big sports hall for primary school kids. I hope they can reach the basketball hoops.

  • NeverSeeANippleIntDailyExpress

    Yes of course that’s what kids need to inspire them and enthuse them about learning; cold and dull concrete interiors. It’s a nice design but fit for primary school kids? Neigh.

  • mitate

    I wonder how much snow it will take to turn it into an igloo.