Chur Teacher Training College science wing

Bearth + Deplazes

Valentin Bearth, Andrea Deplazes, Alois Diethelm

Architects: Bearth + Deplazes, Chur

Construction period: 1997-1999

Project manager: Bettina Werner

Structural engineer: Fredy Unger, Chur

Situation and theme

The science wing is an extension to the Grisons Teacher Training College. Its architectural vocabulary - four concrete platforms stacked one upon the other - and its division into teaching and preparation rooms reflect the terse operational space and economic criteria.

The total transparency of the interior and facades is presumably meant to make clear for all to see the purpose of science. The precise clarity of a crystalline lattice or a molecular structure as the building block of life or nature to be studied has been transformed into the rational scientific structure of an angular, polished glass box planted in the cultivated greenery of its surroundings. Rational artificiality in the midst of romantic artificiality. A "reflection" of nature next to the "model" of nature.

The absence of colour - within the building there exist only shades of grey on grey ("laboratory grey") - increases our perception of the artificiality of the science laboratory as a total contrast to the intensive, diverse, dense "illustrative" greenery of the vegetation in the area. Trees, bushes, vines, ferns, etc. extend right up to the glass box itself. Unexpectedly, observer and observed exchange places.

Chur Teacher Training College Basement

The new

Site plan building at the foot of the Hoffelsen In Chur

The new

Site plan building at the foot of the Hoffelsen In Chur

Concrete Structure Vines Architecture

Internal layout and loadbearing structure I

The l oadbearing structure of i n situ concrete consists of four platforms stacked one upon the other, the conglomerate braced by an access tower on one side. Each row of columns is coupled with downstand beams to form a frame-like, five-bay "yoke" running parallel to the length of the building. A suspended ceiling spans the two yokes, hemmed in by the beams.

In contrast to beams that are positioned perpendicular to the length of the building, this arrangement permits a straightforward horizontal distribution of the services required (electricity, water, waste water, gas and laboratory media). Apart from the tower, the structure does not initially imply any particular use or internal layout. The division into teaching, ancillary and access zones is primarily by way of non-loadbearing walls - glass in the longitudinal direction (for transparency). Across the building the main rooms are demarcated by walls of built-in cupboards between the appropriately sized columns (600 x 600 mm).

The user-defined and - possibly - temporary arrangement of walls, for which the i oadbearing structure Hg. 239: Axonomewc view of structural system is ideal, is somewhat restricted however by the position Stacked concrete "Platforms" of risers and waste pipes. The shafts for these vertical service runs are located on the two columns to the left and right of the tower and cannot be altered (see "a" in fig. 238). On the other hand, the building services on the platforms are autonomous. Use of the tower as a possible services shaft, which would mean elaborate perforations in the downstand beams in this area and the need for a suspended ceiling, is therefore superfluous and favors the concept of the platforms.

Construction Risers ShaftsChur Teacher Training CollegeConcrete Downstand

Fig. 241: Seminar room

Views of the outside are still possible even when the awnings are extended.

Plane View Seminar Hall

Fig. 242: Plan of 1st floor

Lobby adjacent staircase and corridor to room at east end of building 0 1 5 m a) Vertical service shafts 1 1-1 1-1 1

Fig. 242: Plan of 1st floor

Lobby adjacent staircase and corridor to room at east end of building 0 1 5 m a) Vertical service shafts 1 1-1 1-1 1

Biochemist Lab Floor Plan
Laboratory

1st floor +3.7C

Samples, biochemistry laboratory

Samples, biochemistry laboratory

Biochemist Lab Floor Plan

Fig. 244: Section

The stacked concrete "platforms" and staircase tower, which in the basement is coupled with the l ightwell. c 1 5 m a) Laboratory benches/media supply points; b) horizontal media zone/distribution; c) lighting unit I I_I I_I

Roof construction

Gravel

Separating layer (filter fleece) Waterproofing, GV3 + root-resistant EP4 Insulation laid to falls (cellular glass, T4) Vapour barrier (temporary waterproofing), GV3 Concrete slab

Floor construction, upper floors

Linoleum Cement screed Polyethylene sheet Insulation

Impact sound insulation Concrete slab

Floor construction, basement

Linoleum Cement screed Polyethylene sheet Insulation

Damp-proof membrane, V4A Concrete slab

Fig. 244: Section

The stacked concrete "platforms" and staircase tower, which in the basement is coupled with the l ightwell. c 1 5 m a) Laboratory benches/media supply points; b) horizontal media zone/distribution; c) lighting unit I I_I I_I

Load Bearing Structure Design

Fig. 245: Concrete members (primary load-bearing structure) with lightweight metal frames (secondary structure)

Frames fitted to edges of floor slabs

Fig. 245: Concrete members (primary load-bearing structure) with lightweight metal frames (secondary structure)

Frames fitted to edges of floor slabs

Design and realisation - the curtain wall

The facade is based on a system of nearly square frames, each fixed top and bottom to the edges of the floor slabs. The frames (post-and-rail construction) are positioned relative to each other so that there are spaces in between. The horizontal spaces house the external awnings, the vertical spaces the ventilation flaps.

A vertical T-section in the middle of the anodised aluminium frames halves the width of the glass and hence considerably reduces the price of the glass. Laminated safety glass is used for the inner panes of these double-glazed units and thus renders any form of balustrade (safety barrier) unnecessary. Natural ventilation is provided by the aforementioned inward-opening flaps. The outer louvres guarantee ventilation regardless of the weather (e.g. night-time cooling in summer, protection against driving iain), but also prevent intruders gaining access to the building. The outer centre flap is a response to the teaching staff's wish for a physical link with the outside world.

Using the spaces between the frames in this way (for awnings and ventilation flaps) allows the glass to finish flush with the frames and so create a skin-like development - glass and frames in the same plane. The corners employ stepped glass (the panes meet without any frame) and this reinforces the idea of the developed facade. All the engineering components are built in, which causes the whole facade construction in the end to function together like a clockwork.

Nevertheless, at SFr 970/m2 (including awnings, ventilation flaps, connections and terminations and internal blinds; index 1999) this is a cost-effective solution for a curtain wall system.

Frameless Glass Facade

Fig. 246: Close-up of facade

Frameless corner detail (stepped glass)

Fig. 246: Close-up of facade

Frameless corner detail (stepped glass)

Facade construction

1 Aluminium facade sections, 6C x 18C mm

2 Double glazing, inner pane of laminated safety glass

3 External patent glazing fitting for mechanical fixing of glass

4 Recess: 6C mm rockwool thermal insulation plus sheet aluminium lining

5 Awning as external sunshading (acrylic fabric)

6 Internal blackout blind fitted into recess in soffit

7 Room-height ventilation flap (recess similar to No. 4 above)

8 "Psychological" opening flap

External Corner Glass Facade

Fig. 247: Facade details

Spaces between window frames for ventilation (vertical) and sunshading (horizontal)

Fig. 247: Facade details

Spaces between window frames for ventilation (vertical) and sunshading (horizontal)

Rockwool 120mm Mit Allumium

Fig. 248: South facade with entrance

External ventilation flaps oper

Fig. 248: South facade with entrance

External ventilation flaps oper

Facade construction a Aluminium facade sections, 60 x 180 mm b Bracket and cast-in rail for attaching facade sections c Double glazing, inner pane of 8 mm laminated safety glass, outer pane of 8 mm float glass (outer pane at frameless corners: 8 mm toughened safety glass) d External patent glazing fitting for mechanical fixing of glass (b = 60 mm) e Extra-wide cover strip (b = 120 mm) f Rockwool, 60 mm, plus sheet aluminium lining g Front edge of awning h Straight awning arm i Internal blackout blind fitted into recess in soffit j Fluorescent lights recessed into soffit

Blinds Fitted Into Glass

Fig. 249: Horizontal section

Vertical joint with internal and external ventilation flaps

Seismic Isolation Diy

Fig. 250: Vertical section

Fig. 249: Horizontal section

Vertical joint with internal and external ventilation flaps

Fig. 250: Vertical section

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