School for Stone Sculptors St.Gallen

The building tracts of the stone sculptor and mason’s school are situated on the flat part of the site such that they divide the parcel into an entrance area towards the driveway and into a service court towards the south. The steep portion of the parcel remains untouched.

The geological characteristics of the site and the necessity of pile foundations generate the skeleton construction technique for the building structure. The load-bearing construction consists of solid masonry columns or brick masonry infill, respectively. Thanks to the additional air cells of the brick masonry and the corresponding solidity of the columns, both the columns and the masonry infills reach the specified insulation value without requiring any additional insulation material. The ceilings of the school tract are made of pre-fabricated clay-hulled beam elements.

On the interior, the brick columns are finely stuccoed or limewashed. The flooring of the school tract is made with red clay or ceramic tiles, respectively. Thus, they are also made of fired material, though left untreated in contrast to the masonry. The masonry is stuccoed on the outside.

The architecture as well as the choice of materials for the stone sculptor and mason's school are consciously kept straightforward. The actual "richness" of the building will be formed by the works of the sculptor and stone mason apprentices. Student work should not just be displayed in the workyard or decorate a wall from time to time. Rather, it should become an integral part of the architecture of the school. Every year one or two "window openings" could be clad with stone jambs made by the students. The jambs would be fabricated from various types of stone. Their surfaces would be bush hammered, droved or abraded, and have text or be in half-relief. The architecture determines here only the size of the masonry opening and a maximum stone thickness with regard to the size of the finished window opening. The stonework should be mounted by the students themselves.

The windowsills made of weather-resistant, impregnated Bakelite plywood are consequently just temporary. They fulfill their purpose until the moment when they are replaced, piece by piece and year by year, by stone jambs and sills from the "production" of the trade school.

With regard to the use of stone jambs and stuccoed masonry, the stone sculptor and mason's school makes reference to the classical schoolhouse architecture of the region. The skeleton construction and the formation of the sawtooth skylights refer, in addition, to the industrial character of the school.

Location St.Gallen, Switzerland

Competition 1990, 2nd Prize

Team G/G Dieter Bachmann, Judith Brändle

Structural Engineer Aerni + Aerni, Zurich

Other Consultant: sculptor Ruth Gossweiler, Zurich