text project list
description school extension, open competition, entry
category Public
location Ferlach, Austria
built area 3.200 m²
Design Team

Stephan Buerger, Demetra Katsota, Maria Chassioti, Georgios Kourakos

client BIG
design year 2016

The new extension to the Ferlach Vocational and Higher Technical School building is conceived as an independent, compact building, oriented towards the town of Ferlach rather than to the existing school. Strategicaly placed in the centre of a new public plaza it aspires to take on a role corresponding to its educational, cultural, social importance beyond the local context.

Towards the west, the building steps back, creating a small forecourt, while its staggered four-storey volume establishes a dynamic relation to the scenic surroundings of the Rosenthal valley and the mountainous formations. Towards the north, the building presents itself as two-storey in response to the scale of the buildings along the street. To the south, the wedge shaped in-between space brings the existing and new buildings into a spatial dialogue: Below the trapezoidal bridge connector, the public passage leads to the generous, representative double storey main entrance to the school. This threshold zone will become the spatial and programmatic connector between the two buildings, between the inside and the outside, the public and the school community, the horizontal public plaza and the vertical atrium.

The new school building is conceived as an interdisciplinary workshop, a unique didactic tool. Its two lower storeys constitute a generous, flexible, open plan workspace endlessly adoptable to users’ needs. Above, two levels of classrooms and an intermediary public level with the school’s library and multipurpose room encircle the three-dimensional public atrium - the ideal place for open interaction between students, teachers and visitors in support of social, intellectual and creative learning.

With regards to construction, the new building combines a concrete structure for below ground and the atrium core with a timber modular system for the upper levels. The prefabricated 3x9m box elements correspond to optimal design and guarantee swift assembly on site. Each ' box' is made of beech veneer plywood and conventional glued laminated timber elements (CLT) to which removable timber partitions, translucent glass partitions, window elements and adequate acoustic and fire protection insulation would be fitted. Thanks to the efficient prefabrication of the 44 classroom elements, the four above ground levels can be assembled in only 2 weeks.

In its external material expression, the building appears industrial. The façade consists of thermally insulated timber elements on a steel substructure and openable window elements, externally clad with concave and convex curved perforated metal panels. At certain programmatic instances, expressed windows project upon the façade, framing specific aspects of the surrounding context.

Title Year Type Locaction Country
STUDENT STUDIOS PATRAS 2007 Residential Patras Greece
LANDHOTEL SILVESTAR 2016 Hospitality Motovun Croatia
K314 OFFICE BUILDING 2021 Offices Athens Greece
ROLLING GREENS - VILLAS B 2019 Hospitality, Residential Messinia Greece
HOUSE E 2016 Residential Artemida Greece
RADISSON RESORT SKIATHOS 2020 Hospitality Skiathos Greece
HOUSES A·2 2015 Residential, Hospitality Paros Greece
ROLLING GREENS - VILLAS A 2019 Hospitality, Residential Messinia Greece
ONE ATHENS APARTMENT 2021 Residential Athens Greece
ANNENHEIM CUBES 2012 Residential, Hospitality Annenheim Austria
RESTAURANT THALERSEE 2020 Public, Hospitality Graz Austria
STUDENT STUDIOS THESSALONIKI 2016 Residential Thessaloniki Greece
HOUSE H 2012 Residential Corfu Greece
BELGIAN EMBASSY ATHENS 2008 Public Athens Greece
VILLA S 2006 Residential Vienna Austria
OKZT OFFICES & APARTMENTS 2019 Offices Klagenfurt Austria
HOUSE A+B 2008 Residential Paros Greece
MAYRHOFEN STATION 2018 Public Mayrhofen Austria
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY GRAZ 2015 Public Graz Austria
PENINSULA 2019 Residential, Hospitality Paros Greece
VILLA W1 2008 Residential Corfu Greece
APARTMENT BUILDING STD3 2022 Residential Athens Greece
CING LABORATORY BUILDING 2018 Public Nicosia Cyprus
FERANT GARDEN APARTMENT 2018 Residential Ljublijana Slovenia
SCHLOSSMUSEUM LINZ 2006 Public Linz Austria
THREE SPACES 2013 Exhibition Athens Greece
KUBAN RIVERSIDE HOTEL 2013 Hospitality Krasnodar Russia
AS IF 2014 Research, Exhibition Venice Italy
COOP BANK HEADQUARTERS 2012 Commercial, Offices Nicosia Cyprus
6 VOIDS: PXATHENS 2012 Exhibition Venice Italy
LARNACA AGORA 2011 Public Larnaca Cyprus
HOUSE B 2014 Residential Chania Greece
RATHAUSPARK PAVILION 2009 Public Vienna Austria
PX ATHENS 2012 Public, Masterplan Athens Greece
PX THREE CORNERS 2012 Public Athens Greece
HOUSE L 2016 Residential, Research Antiparos Greece
PX SIX THRESHOLDS 2012 Public Athens Greece
DASOUPOLI HIGH SCHOOL 2010 Public Nicosia Cyprus
CASPIAN SEA RESORT 2012 Masterplan Baku Azerbaijan
HOUSE T 2016 Residential Antiparos Greece
FERLACH TECHNICAL SCHOOL 2016 Public Ferlach Austria
OFFICE A 2009 Offices Athens Greece
CAUCASUS CONFERENCE CENTRE 2012 Public Qabala Azerbaijan
SUPERSTORE V 2008 Commercial Athens Greece
KYRIAZI DEVELOPMENT 2008 Commercial, Residential Kifisia Greece
KURA CULTURAL CENTRE 2013 Public Mingacevir Azerbaijan
CLDC HOUSING 2020 Residential Larnaca Cyprus
NOVARA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 2018 Public, Educational Vienna Austria
APARTMENT BUILDING DP30 2021 Residential Athens Greece