Gönhard School Extension

Doufurstr. 1, 5000 Aarau, CH


Main point of the landscape concept was to preserve the identity of the existing school building which is listed as protected by the city conservation department. This was achieved by designing a compact bi-functional building (school / kindergarten), positioned east of the the existing building and designed in such way so it does not compete with the existing building.   Architectural elements of  the existing building, like covered, open corridors were redesigned and used  again in the new project to connect the new school building with the existing complex.


The building consists of two main functions. Kindergarten, with its separate entrance, is set in the ground floor and is characterized by large glass panes, facing the garden and children playground south of the building. School is set on the first floor and in the renovated “old kindergarten” west of the school building. School is characterized by a simple floor plan; with classrooms set on the perimeter and two symmetric staircases with loggia in between closing the north side. All the service spaces are set in the “core”.


Different patterns of visible concrete on the facade create a reference to the previous expansion of the existing school building. (2010 - 2012). There are also two possibilities for further expansion of the building. First option includes adding two additional stories on top of the new building, hence the position of the skylights in the design. Second option would include building a new two story building, parallel to the east boundary of the school complex.