place and structure
autumn term 2008 - professor d. eberle, assistant a. benon

with matthias elsasser

old town / schoolhouse hirschengraben

the site is marked by ascending motions: the topography mounts and the spires of the churches and of the university buildings rise into the sky. the extension fits this picture with a slender tower of offices and a building containing two halls that mirrors the topography. thus the experience of the ascending terrain, which is reduced to the beautiful and grand entrance in the school, is transformed into space.

the ascending hall spanns like a bridge over the second, thus no pillars are needed in lower hall. a room-high truss in the upper hall enables such wingspans. the construction of the tower is simpler. regular reinforced concrete ceilings are spanned between the two cores. the limited span is just enough for the slender form that does not clutter the courtyard and suits the narrow school building.

the tower closes the courtyard in the south and creats a private space outside. by contrast the northern courtyard with its building containing the big halls is a representative public place.