The tree-lined course of the Alte Aare River and the trees along the Hans-Müller-Weg are characteristic for the situation in Aarberg, Switzerland and create a linear exterior space between them. The narrow and elongated form of the new school building is situated as a continuation of the trees. Thus, the open space towards the Aare remains undeveloped, and the large scale is retained. The new two-story school building has a double orientation, towards the schoolyard and towards the river. Generous canopies create attractive, weather-protected outdoor spaces and highlight the relationship between the interior and exterior spaces. The existing height difference between Hans-Müller-Weg and the outdoor space on the river side is bridged on the ground floor by a split level in the entrance area. The situation of the new building makes it a complementary annex on the school grounds; with its low façade in wood, it is intended to be read as part of the green space near the river.
The lower break area is an extension of the existing sports areas; it is openly designed and features different play and experience zones. Children of different ages find their respective play niches and desired experiential areas here. Due to its location and design, the play and recreation area can also be used by the neighborhood outside of school hours. The planting incorporates native, site-appropriate trees that can also be used as climbing trees. The school can benefit from their shade as well as from their varied appearance across the seasons.
Graceful Timber Construction
The new school building is planned as a simple wooden filigree structure. The finely detailed construction and the wood make the building look small. Through the materiality and the vertical structure, the building interweaves with the vegetation in the green space and sets itself apart from the existing school buildings. The individual spatial units are legible and form the rhythm of the façades. The new building is subdued and subordinate to the other school buildings.
Cluster-like Spatial Organization
The new school building is organized in clusters. On each of the two floors, there are five classroom units with a double orientation. On the ground floor are the kindergartens and the day school with direct access to the outside. The five room units are directly accessible from the outside via the open space on the Aare side and are internally connected by doors. The central staircase provides access to the classrooms on the upper floor from the main entrance and the corridor on the Aare side. The school and reserve rooms deliberately face the quiet break yard side. Here, again, the main rooms are directly connected to one another by doors, which allows for class-wide teaching.