The new primary school in Staffeln is a ‘school in village form’. The aim is to break down the scale of a large school to a level suitable for children. The school consists of five buildings: three ‘village schools’, a supervision building, and the sports hall with an assembly hall. The individual buildings are freely arranged, and together with the preserved trees form a highly varied but easily grasped green village.

All of the buildings are set around the central playground with its two older trees. Between the school buildings there are different protected play and recreational areas for the kindergarten, school garden and workshops, as well as wild, untidy areas that the children can discover and shape. Footpaths on all sides provide links to the surrounding residential district. The division into ‘village schoolhouses’ and class groups is intuitively comprehensible for the pupils, promotes identification and imparts responsible behaviour. In the same way as in a ‘summer camp’, a microcosm arises in which the children are able to grow. Each ‘village schoolhouse’ has two class groups with an attractive, bright access area and learning zone. This central teaching area is the ‘living-room’ for each class group. When the doors are open, it connects with the class and group spaces to form a star-shaped educational environment.

All of the buildings are erected using sustainable ecological wood construction. The basic structure of the school buildings is varied using individual details such as projecting roofs and bay windows so that the children can recognize their own ‘village schoolhouse’ from the outside and feel at home in it.

Location: Lucerne, Switzerland
Programme: Primary school with 24 classrooms and 2 Kindergardens
Client: City of Lucerne
Net Surface: 12’950 m2
Competition: 2nd prize
Project Status: Not built