Vouvry’s golden, shimmering secondary school stands between the River Rhone and the village centre on the valley floor of the Lower Valais. Its dimensions and form recall the industrial buildings that have been constructed in the valley.
The three-storey, compact building with a retracted ground floor houses a triple sports hall under its roof in the centre, around which all rooms and accessing are grouped in a windmill arrangement.
An envelope of welted brass sheets covers the secondary school. The traditional processing technique for the façade breaks down the large form of the building, as does the recessed ground floor, above which the two upper levels project eight metres outwards on all sides to provide a covered gathering space.
Pupils and teachers enter the building from one of two corner entrances on the east and west sides.
Cascade stairs, each of which cover the entire breadth of the lateral sides, lead to the upper levels.
There is a surprise at the top: Here the walls of the sports hall are made of glass, allowing views straight through the storey and into the hall.
Skylights allow daylight to reach the building’s centre and the top floor.
The walls and floors of the common rooms and corridors are painted in a wine-red colour.
They contrast with the white sports hall and the classrooms, which are clad in white panelling.
The load-bearing concept is based on a megastructure. The partition walls of the classrooms on the second upper level form a supporting structure. The first upper level is suspended onto it as a timber construction.