Franz Architekten's project for the Borg & NMS school in Deutsch-Wagram, 15 km from Vienna, comes from dual need to build a senior secondary school with a focus on scientific subjects (the Realgymnasium) and at the same time to extend the existing junior secondary school (“Hauptschule”).
Since the area involved in the work is close to other school institutes like the nursery school and the primary school, as well as to a public space used as a park, one of the main objectives of the project has been that of creating a common park which can be used by the pupils of all the schools at break time.
The spatial design of the new structure envisages division into two separate blocks, a long school block, joining the two secondary institutes into a single building and a second building with a double sports hall.
The common library, which develops over three levels, is the heart of the building and offers shared spaces for reading and small presentations. The generous terrace made on the second floor represents a sort of open-air classroom whose purpose is to develop the pupils' sociality.
The use of colour in the façade, broken by a sequence of square windows is the distinguishing element of the two constructed volumes: the sports hall is characterised by a sky blue aluminium panel cladding which fades to white from the bottom up; the classroom block on the other hand has the opposite pattern of bleeding into sky blue from the bottom up.
The compact composition guarantees a good degree of thermal insulation and an efficient natural ventilation system. Energy generation is performed thanks to the installation of a geothermal system with a heat pump and a photovoltaic system which give the work passive building qualities.