Walkeweg Primary School
Architect: Estudio DIIR
Client: Unknown
Status: Competition (2021)
Location: Basel, Switzerland
Coordinates: 47.5391667, 7.60916666
Climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate
Material: Wood
Environment: Park
Visualizer: Play-Time architectonic images
Budget: 34.000.000 €
Scale: 9.600 ㎡ Medium
Ratio: 3.541,67 €/㎡
Types: Education, School

The project aims to reaffirm the innovative concepts proposed in the future development of the Walkeweg neighborhood. The design strategy opts for compactness. This approach offers larger recreational spaces, where rest, activities and events become frequent activities for the community. In turn, transparency and permeability are enhanced, not only on the ground floor but also on the landscaped terraces. These elements are responsible for fragmenting the volume and filling the project with life.

The new school aspires to become an example of sustainability and pays special attention to the climate aspect. The project is covered with a vegetal veil that incorporates bio-habitability into the teaching spaces, something that not only has a very positive impact on the thermal comfort of the building, but also on the sensory and perceptual development of children. Constructively, longitudinal pots are projected above the ground floor structure. From this point, the vegetation is born and grows by the braces that surround the volume. This creates cool, shaded spaces around the perimeter, helping to blur the physical boundary between interior and exterior.

Interior configuration is clear and systematic. Two side bands group the teaching spaces. This allows all classrooms to approach the perimeter and be naturally illuminated. The central band, where services, communications and intermediate spaces are located, is completely released. The introduction of large terraces allows these spaces to have direct contact with the outside. This approach provides great flexibility, since it allows generating more compartmentalized and independent configurations while incorporating the intermediate spaces into the teaching environments. This aims to promote socialization and spontaneous encounters, events that help to weave an interpersonal network, in favor of the common versus the individual.

Building’s footprint aims to be minimal, reducing the impact of CO2 both in the design phase and in its useful life. The environmental impact due to the use of materials is the main impact on NZEB buildings if we consider their life cycle. The proposal uses low-treatment organic and mineral materials to solve the structure and the enclosures. The interior finishes and the vertical partitions will be made with organic and recycled material, reducing the impact and guaranteeing adequate indoor air quality.

On the ground floor, an infrastructure is built by means of blocks of compacted natural earth. This same solution is applied in the communication cores. No doubt, it is an environmentally responsible construction system that has very interesting and innovative thermal and acoustic properties. On the one hand, it provides great thermal inertia and regulates the humidity of the environment. On the other, thanks to its strong mass, it offers great structural capabilities.

This natural earth structure supports the rest of the floors, defined through a cross-laminated timber framework of slabs and pillars. A singular solution that shows off its natural origin, its low environmental impact, and its efficiency in waste management. The CLT wooden structure allows the generation of sufficiently large openings, consequently offering flexible and open spaces. In addition, its high efficiency allows to lighten the weight of the structure, which translates into significant savings in the impact of the foundation.

Definitely, the reversibility of the project is evidenced by introducing innovation through bio-construction and Minergie ECO principles, a firm commitment to achieve ecological construction.

Team: David Meana, Ignacio Navarro, Iñigo Palazón, Ricardo Fernández | Post date: 17/09/2021 | Views: 2.962