New school building in Thal
Angela Deuber Architect
In cooperation with baumed.bauleitungen, Conzett Bronzini Gartmann AG, Maurus Schifferli
Primary school and Kindergarten
2010 – 2013
9422 Buechen/Thal, Canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Client Municipality of Thal
Together with the existing Church, the recently completed school in Thal forms the new centre of the village. It stands in the middle of a uniformly sloping plot whose incline adjusts each of the elevations independently. The plot is divided diagonally into an orchard on the lower slope and a paved area on the upper. Seen from the road, the new primary school and kindergarten sits in a green landscape accessible from the street via steps or the natural rise of the site.
The structure consists of a column and slab system split by the fissure created for insulation. The exterior expression is an articulated façade that, united with the internal structure, supports the weight of the concrete slabs. Both carry structural loads and are constructionally interdependent. The classrooms are divided by non-structural slurried clay block walls, which can be removed according to the school’s future requirements.
The light grey concrete façade has a strong physical presence. Supported by stout internal columns, exaggerated lintels open up toward the corners and middle of the structural floor slabs where Larch window frames are allowed to reach the full height of the room. The thickness of the wall, and the triangular geometry of the openings, produces a spatial experience that is modulated according to ones position in the building: the interiority in the centre is relieved nearing the edge allowing the view to dissolve into the open.