Architecture of joy and lightheartedness

Due to its sunny location and the economic centres of Zurich and Baden around the corner, Widen is one of the preferred residential areas in the Canton of Aargau. This popularity can also be seen in the increasing number of pupils. Consequently, the existing primary school facility is reaching the limits of its capacity. A competition was initiated to develop a concept for a new school building with classrooms, a kindergarten and a double sports hall. A major requirement is also the choice of a sustainable construction method.
The jury was unanimous in its opinion that the winning project FOUETTE – developed by WALDRAP architects in collaboration with the structural engineers from Lüchinger+Meyer – met the requirements best.

Taking up the exposed location of the site, the design aims at an “architecture of joy and lightheartedness”. The visible structure on the terrace is designed as a pavilion. It appears as a filigree wooden construction with metallic detailing. The Brise Soleil communicates between the inside and outside and generates a play of light and shadow that highlights the lightness of the construction.
The structure combines two different concepts: The underground sports area is a concrete structure that serves as the base for the overlying wooden structure of the school building. The school building is based on an axial raster. The wooden beams span between the wooden columns and serve as supports for the hollow box elements of the ceiling. The sports hall is spanned with concrete beams, which also carry the loads of the structure of the school building. The rasters of the above- and underground load-bearing systems are adjusted so that the wooden columns are positioned directly on the concrete beams.