Therwil, Basel  2012. Selected Competition, 1. Prize

Architecture: Gschwind Architekten, Basel.
Client: Therwil municipality

The project involves a new design of  Therwil primary school, kindergarten and double gymnasium, that is expected to responds to functional, educational, and design requirements.

The outer space of the new School and Kindergarden buildings is clearly define  by  a dense tree structure and site geometry,  as a result of an urban gradation and the proximity to the course of the river March. The presence of  the  rivulet along two sides of the project site and the view of the wooded hills to the East create the distinctive atmosphere of the place.

The exterior design of the new facilities provides the existing eastern residential area a connection to the March Bach through the new space between the school and nurseries. A clear and compact typological sequence of spaces with different qualities become a fluent pedestrian connection. On one hand, a large square  between the two main buildings serves as a central open space and school playgrounds. On the other hand, two forecourts covered with a subtle gravel surface and planted with a significant density of  trees create welcoming rooms where tables, benches, table tennis and  bike racks are located. To enhance the public space along the Rüchibächli, a new path has been suggested as a pedestrian walkway. The whole landscape  area is dominated by a generous  lawn surface, which in combination with the two existing water streams provide valuable play areas. The existing vegetation is complemented by new maple and ash trees along the watercourses. A strong formulated hedgerow as part of the playground along the eastern road helps to define the space at the time that isolates and protects the  smallest children from the traffic. In addition, Linden trees provide shade when necessary, while the buildings accommodates two green skylights  to allow natural light to generate internal illumination.

The school building, the gymnasium and the kindergarden premises form an integrated group of buildings, which harmonize with the outdoor spaces in relation to both, the buildings and the landscape.

New School and Open space Therwil. Basel

Competition 1st Prize 2012. Project 2015