The new school centre in Hall, Tirol, is a modern answer to the need for high-quality learning spaces. In contrast to the typical authoritarian rows of school buildings with rigid front-facing classrooms, the new design embraces collective, open and flexible learning. With a combination of flexible and organised spaces, the comb-shaped school and garden systems are intertwined like the fingers of two hands, symbolising security and the symbiosis of man and nature.
The centre is made up two schools. A middle school occupies the first and second floors while a school for disabled children is based on the ground floor, along with common spaces such as administration offices, conference spaces and a dining room and kitchen.
The design combines two types of spaces across both schools. The first type is fixed space for a defined function, such as classrooms, workshops and sports facilities. Classrooms are comprised of four learning areas and a teachers’ room, set around a common open space for group activities. The module offers some flexibility to transform the space for varying uses.
The second type of space is designed for free activities to be managed independently by pupils, such as reading, playing, socialising and relaxing. Consistent with the educational concept of “free spaces as learning spaces”, they are flexible and open with adjustable configurations and modular furniture.
Ground floor classrooms are fully accessible and open out on to the central courtyard, featuring a covered terrace and ample green space for pupils to enjoy. The space can also function as a theatre with banks of steps designed to provide seating and ramps for easy wheelchair access.