New pedagogical concepts ask for new architectural forms. To transform the elementary school in Edlach into a contemporary cluster school, the new building arranges the master classes and group rooms as small units and offers a wide range of spatial configurations. The circulation space is reduced to a minimum.
Parallel to the existing gym, the 70-meter-long new main building arranges the teaching rooms on two levels. The classes open to a glazed central core, generously flooded by daylight. It expands in some places and defines zones for group work and for relaxation. Roofed, wood-clad, incised balconies on the narrow sides also serve as outdoor classes. The link between the school and the gym is the glazed, multifunctional hall, also the main entrance to the school. On the ground floor there are a library, special classes, meeting and teacher rooms as well as wardrobes and toilets. Two free-standing concrete staircases lead to the classroom level.
Wood is omnipresent – in the framework, the cladding of the facade and the interior design of the classrooms. The gymnasium, whose façade is also clad in silver fir panels, has undergone thermal upgrading. The use of natural products and the attention to detail make this building a harmonious and cheerful place of teaching and learning.
Education and school life require specific conditions of visual, thermal and acoustic comfort. How can architecture, with its own means, create an environment conducive to concentration, play or training? School buildings realized by Dietrich | Untertrifaller respond with the creation of clear and warm atmospheres, especially thanks to the use of wood and the role given to natural light. Wood is omnipresent in all places of education, whether it be in the form of a structure, a façade or for interior surfaces. The Kuchl campus of the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, a training site for future wood professionals, is exemplary in this respect.
The realization of the college of Klaus, in Vorarlberg, offered an opportunity to develop strategies that could be resumed in other projects, notably in France. In the college of Broons as in that of Lamballe, in Brittany, the spaces are structured around an atrium illuminated from above and crossed by footbridges and bridges; the natural light penetrates from several sides into the classrooms. In the Edlach School in Dornbin , classes arranged in clusters allow flexible spatial configurations that are largely open to the outside.
Dietrich | Untertrifaller Architects, founded in 1994, is one of the iconic agencies of the renowned School of Vorarlberg. In 1992 Helmut Dietrich and Much Untertrifaller won the international competition for the conversion and extension of the Festspielhaus in Bregenz. This first major project was followed by equally important ones, such as the Hall F of the Wiener Stadthalle, the ETH sports campus in Zurich or the Convention Center in Strasbourg. Laureate of numerous competitions, the agency has a wide variety of references: local museums and cultural facilities, office buildings and sports complexes, private houses and high-volume residential projects, interior design and revitalizations of historic buildings. Today, the agency employs an international team of 70 architects working in Austria (Bregenz and Vienna), Switzerland (St Gallen), France (Paris) and Germany (Munich). The office is lead by Helmut Dietrich, Much Untertrifaller, Dominik Philipp and Patrick Stremler.