The extension for the Weiden secondary school, housing a gymnasium and 24 classrooms, sits on the eastern part of the site between the existing secondary and primary school buildings. The compact form of the new building preserves the park-like character of the campus and turns the existing plinth into a collective schoolyard that connects the old and the new buildings while negotiating the changing heights of the landscape.
On the public ground floor, the assembly room and teachers‘ lounge wrap around the sunken gym to produce multiple views. The gym, a space that is normally hidden or isolated, all of a sudden becomes the center of the school, activating its daily life.
Above it, two stories of timber construction unite the classrooms into a simple volume. The spanning of the gym produces a deep plan and the opportunity for a space that was not asked for. On each of the upper levels, a ring of classrooms surrounds a central hall that can be used as a flexible learning landscape punctuated by four planted courtyards.
The exposed beams provide an experiential continuity inside while the cantilevering beams support the egress balconies that give the building its lightweight expression outside.