text project list
description school extension, open competition, entry
category public
location Ferlach, Austria
built area 3.155 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
PENINSULA 2020 residential, hospitality Paros Greece
VILLAS A 2019 residential, hospitality Costa Navarino ,  Messinia Greece
RESTAURANT THALERSEE 2020 public, hospitality Graz Austria
VILLAS B 2019 residential, hospitality Costa Navarino ,  Messinia Greece
OKZT HUB 2018 offices Klagenfurt Austria
MAYRHOFEN STATION 2018 public Mayrhofen Austria
HOUSES A·2 2014 residential, hospitality Paros Greece
FERANT GARDEN APARTMENT 2017 residential Ljubljana Slovenia
CING LABORATORY BUILDING 2018 public Nicosia Cyprus
STUDENT STUDIOS PATRAS 2007 residential Patras Greece
PX SIX THRESHOLDS 2012 public Athens Greece
HOUSE E 2016 residential Artemida Greece
HOUSE L 2016 residential, research Antiparos Greece
LANDHOTEL SILVESTAR 2016 commercial, residential, hospitality Motovun Croatia
AS IF 2014 residential, research Mykonos Greece
HOUSE B 2014 residential Crete Greece
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY GRAZ 2015 public Graz Austria
HOUSE T 2016 residential Antiparos Greece
HOUSE H 2012 residential Corfu Greece
KURA CULTURAL CENTRE 2013 public Mingachevir Azerbaijan
THREE SPACES 2013 exhibition Athens Greece
KUBAN RIVERSIDE HOTEL 2013 commercial, hospitality Krasnodar Russia
STUDENT STUDIOS THESSALONIKI 2017 residential Thessaloniki Greece
HOUSE A+B 2008 residential Paros Greece
COOP BANK HEADQUARTERS 2012 commercial Nicosia Cyprus
PX THREE CORNERS 2012 public Athens Greece
AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR RESIDENCE 2013 residential Athens Greece
COASTAL DOMAINS 2017 exhibition Athens Greece
ANNENHEIM CUBES 2012 residential, hospitality Treffen Austria
FERLACH TECHNICAL SCHOOL 2016 public Ferlach Austria
CASPIAN SEA RESORT 2012 public, residential, masterplan, hospitality Baku Azerbaijan
6 VOIDS: PXATHENS 2012 exhibition Venice Italy
BELGIAN EMBASSY 2009 public Athens Greece
CAUCASUS CONFERENCE CENTRE 2012 public Qabala Azerbaijan
GERMAN SCHOOL ATHENS 2017 public Athens Greece
LAKE APARTMENTS 2012 residential Bodensdorf Austria
PX ATHENS 2012 public, masterplan Athens Greece
LARNACA AGORA 2011 public Larnaca Cyprus
NOVARA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 2018 public Vienna Austria
OFFICE A 2010 commercial Athens Greece
HBWBC SCHOOL 2010 public Vienna Austria
DASOUPOLI HIGH SCHOOL 2010 public Nicosia Cyprus
RATHAUSPARK 2009 public Vienna Austria
TOWNHOUSE K 2009 residential Nafplion Greece
VILLA W1 2008 residential Corfu Greece
HELLENIC PARLIAMENT 2008 research Athens Greece
KYRIAZI DEVELOPMENT 2008 commercial, residential Athens Greece
GERMAN DEVELOPMENT 2008 masterplan Sofia Bulgaria
SUPERSTORE V 2008 commercial Athens Greece
MELINA PAVILION 2007 exhibition Athens Greece
GLEISDORF DEVELOPMENT 2007 residential Gleisdorf Austria
HELEXPO PAVILION 2007 exhibition Thessaloniki Greece
VILLA S 2006 residential Vienna Austria
VERTICAL ATTICA 2006 masterplan, research Attica Greece
SCHLOSSMUSEUM 2006 public Linz Austria
EXHIBITION 102x 2006 exhibition Athens Greece
HOUSE M 2004 residential Athens Greece
SKYWALK BRIDGE 2004 public Vienna Austria
HELLENIKON PARK 2004 masterplan Athens Greece
DARNITSA DEVELOPMENT 2003 commercial Kiev Ukraine
TRANSITIONAL INTERSTICES 2003 residential Ano Liosia Greece