Extension and Renovation of an Elementary School Complex
Competition 1st Prize

Client: Municipality of Leuk (VS)
Location: Susten (VS), Switzerland
Date: 2017 – 2020

The Susten elementary school complex sits naturally in a generous park-like landscape, which acts as green heart and recreation area for the neighbourhood. The three existing volumes and their adjoining buildings form a coherent ensemble around the central terraced playground, while the positioning of the extension reinforces these two qualities and complements the overall composition along the Schulhausstrasse. The extension of the existing canopy provides a physical connection between old and new in the form of a covered entrance area, which connects the park and playground as well as offers direct access to the sports field on the first floor. Overall, the project reinforces the central playground both in its role as circulation and as a distribution hub for the school.

The design is crisp and precise, emphasizing the volumetric quality of the new building. Both standard and special classrooms are organized around a cruciform circulation core, which becomes a spatially attractive double-height space. The students experience changing light conditions throughout the day while enjoying wonderful views onto the landscape all directions. Positioned in the corners, the classrooms are provided with plenty of natural light. In reference to the existing context, the palette favours natural and robust materials such as fair-faced concrete, wood and metal on the facade. The design of the window openings resembles light overhanging boxes, which creates a strong architectural expression for the new extension.

Project Partners:
– Giorla Trautmann Architectes, Sierre

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