Wien, Austria, 2000
The new primary school and kindergarten was to be built on an unusual site in the second district of the city of Vienna.
The form of the final design was to a large extent a result of the many limitations imposed on the site by its particular location. The 8.000sqm site is divided into two parts by a row of large trees, making it difficult to integrate the various school activities. There is also an acute problem of noise created by the local train line on the north east boundary of the school.
In order to bridge the two subdivisions and allow access to both, a series of ramps were introduced. The ramps, descending from each floor of the school directly to the playground area, provide an easy functional connection while minimising the noise impact of the passing trains with its massive volume.
An inner courtyard located between the school and the kindergarten provides a well protected space for children from all years.
The project seems to capture the nature of education and its two elements: the orderly and the playful.
The architectural form of the project is reminiscent of Frank Stella paintings from the late Fifties. In the catalogue of his exhibition at MoMA at the time of the design, Paulo Heckenhoff writes that the grid of Frank Stella's compositions articulate the equilibrium of knowledge, emotion and sensation... harmonises reason soul and body. This describes best what we would like to achieve in this project.
Magistrat der Stadt, Wien
Tadeusz Spychala, Architect
Gerhard Pichler, Ingenieur, Berlin