Primary School C. Merian


2019 -


Bau- und Verkehrsdepartement Basel-Stadt, Städtebau & Architektur, Hochbauamt


Basel, Switzerland


School, Multifunctional Hall, Library


3’600 sqm


Open competition, 1st prize


Hosoya Schaefer Architects AG

Planning Team:

Dr. Lüchinger+Meyer Bauingenieure AG

Extension and Renovation

School buildings must be able to adapt to the constantly changing requirements. The existing building is therefore reorganised, and a new wing is added which allows for a flexible use of the classrooms and group rooms but also of the teachers’ area.

Today’s entrance becomes a hinge over which corridors extend in three directions resembling a windmill. In the new wing the elevator and representative staircase are placed for both buildings. The new-wing corridor is designed as a learning landscape and works as a powerful and efficient connection. The staircase in the existing building is replaced by new toilets while the centrally positioned common technical facilities maximise energy flows.

The ground floor of the new wing serves as public zone oriented towards the Emmanuel-Büchel Strasse. The foyer that connects to the auditorium has its own entrance, and the kitchen is designed as an object within the space. The auditorium is lowered by 1.6 metres underground, resulting in compact building volume and with a direct connection between the existing and the new. The auditorium is a multifunctional space that can be used in various ways and can be opened towards the outside for public events. Above the concrete ground floor, three floors made from a wooden structure are dedicated to school use. The teacher area is on the first floor and on the typical second and third floors are located the classrooms and group rooms.

The architectural protagonist of the new wing is the wooden-frame-structure. It stiffens out the wing both transversely and longitudinally and allows installation of flexible wall partitions. The wooden ribs and cross-pillars in conjunction with the concrete ceiling divide and structure the space. The concrete and wooden building with the light balcony structure facing east, invites for a colourful and playful appropriation of the space, or better yet, it demands it.




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