The challenge in the competition for the Amstetten School Campus was to combine two existing secondary schools in one location and complement the program with a new music school and an additional gym. With the area being characterized by an extreme heterogeneous development, with a wide range of buildings with various functions and styles, the design by Atelier Thomas Pucher, which won the first prize, is comprised of a compact five-storey cube which rises in the surroundings as a distinctive landmark. Additionally, the building is combined with two lower volumes and three courtyards, within a chessboard formation. More images and architects’ description after the break.
This strong formal design acts as a stable crown in the urban sprawl, the main characteristic of the surroundings. The main concept behind the formal design is the creation of a variety of spaces that can clearly organize the functions of the building. The external facades are cladded with perforated metal panels that act as sunscreen and provide both an image of continuity to the outside viewer, and a subtle sense of intimacy in the interior spaces.
The courtyards are both physical and visual connections between the different volumes and perfect meeting places for the pupils during the recreational breaks. Each courtyard has a distinct identity, regarding its solar orientation and landscape design. As for the main cube – “the cube of education” – the program is distributed on the five floors around a central atrium. Acting as the main spine, scissor stairs grant direct access to all parts of the buildings.
Amstetten is one of the first schools to be registered as a green Climate:Active building in Austria, which is the equivalent of the LEED qualification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The construction is due to start in the beginning of February 2012 and it is expected to be completed in June 2014. Design Company: Atelier Thomas Pucher Location: Amstetten, Austria Project Leader: Florian Fanta Team: Thomas Pucher, Georg Auinger, Florian Fanta, Klaus Hohsner, Christine Pucher, Robert Lamprecht, Erich Ranegger, Peter Rous, Jan Schrader, Hannes Stöffler Renders: Bernhard Luthringshausen, Jan Schrader, Kamil Rusinek, MISS3 Type: School Status: 1st prize in international open competition; In construction. Expected completion 2014 Area: 11,150 m2 (GFA)