The project aims to reaffirm the innovative concepts proposed in the future development of the Walkeweg neighborhood. The design strategy opts for compactness. This approach offers larger recreational spaces, where rest, activities and events become frequent activities for the community. In turn, transparency and permeability are enhanced, not only on the ground floor but also on the landscaped terraces. These elements are responsible for fragmenting the volume and filling the project with life.

Name: Walkeweg
Type: Competition
Programm: School
Site: Basel, Switzerland
Date: July 2021
Architects: estudio DIIR
Web: estudiodiir.com
Client: Basel City Hall
Area: 600,00 m2
Budget: 000.000,00 euros

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©estudio DIIR

The new school aspires to become an example of sustainability and pays special attention to the climate aspect. The project is covered with a vegetal veil that incorporates bio-habitability into the teaching spaces, something that not only has a very positive impact on the thermal comfort of the building, but also on the sensory and perceptual development of children. Constructively, longitudinal pots are projected above the ground floor structure. From this point, the vegetation is born and grows by the braces that surround the volume. This creates cool, shaded spaces around the perimeter, helping to blur the physical boundary between interior and exterior.

WALKEWEG By estudio DIIR - Sheet3
©estudio DIIR

Building’s footprint aims to be minimal, reducing the impact of CO2 both in the design phase and in its useful life. On the ground floor, an infrastructure is built by means of blocks of compacted natural earth. This structure supports the rest of the floors, defined through a cross-laminated timber framework of slabs and pillars. Both solutions show off their natural origin, their low environmental impact, and their effectiveness in waste management. The reversibility of the project is evidenced by introducing innovation through bio-construction and Minergie ECO principles, a firm commitment to achieve ecological construction.

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©estudio DIIR

Interior configuration is clear and systematic. Two side bands group the teaching spaces. This allows all classrooms to approach the perimeter and be naturally illuminated. The central band, where services, communications and intermediate spaces are located, is completely released. The introduction of large terraces allows these spaces to have direct contact with the outside. This approach provides great flexibility, since it allows generating more compartmentalized and independent configurations while incorporating the intermediate spaces into the teaching environments. This aims to promote socialization and spontaneous encounters, events that help to weave an interpersonal network, in favor of the common versus the individual.

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