Architects: Bonnard Woeffray architectes
Location: Visp, Switzerland
Collaborator: Jean-Pierre Williner
Client: Etat du Valais
Project Area: 4,100 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2009
Photographs: Hannes Henz & BW Architectes
The new class building of the Viège/Visp College of Further Education achieves a transformation in terms of context and enables the linking of the neighbourhood’s schools, the creation of a training campus, and the integration of the future workshops and gyms.
Associated with the new building, the former school playground becomes the benchmark public space of the campus.
The new building’s composition of volumes takes its cue from that of schools in the area, a dissected density facilitating its progression from a two-level volume to one of five levels.
The typology references that of the 1960s building with its central distribution hall, yet radicalises it into a plan featuring three strata, the central layer serving both as distributive and group-work space. The transparency of the lightweight partitions allows this space to benefit from natural light. This typology inevitably exerts an impact on the pedagogical concept.
The use of materials within the building is confined to the bare load-bearing concrete and to the aluminium combined with the coloured glass of the lightweight partitions, which are finished in various shades of green. The materiality of the exterior confirms the volumetric character – the mirror-finish stainless steel frames of the glazing and the bare aluminium cladding applied to the section cut away from the base quadrilateral. The fragmentation of the reflections created by the bevelling of the facades generates a new context.