Valerio Olgiati

Martin Tschanz

Paspels School

The school is located at the top end of Paspels village, which clings to a slope facing south-west. The three individual buildings of the existing school complex are joined in a row along the contour line of the slope, each one posit ioned to suit the local topography. They integrate seamlessly then into the scattering of buildings that make up the village.

Following the same logic, the new, separate school building is added on at the top end of the village. A distorted square on plan, with sides not quite at right-angles to each other, this building and its roof pitch, which tracks the line of the slope, exudes a very compact expression. It seems to be moulded from a viscoplastic material that has changed shape under the effects of gravity.

Starting from a central corridor at ground f loor level, the two floors of classrooms above are each reached by single flights of stairs. There are three classrooms and one ancillary room on each floor, arranged in the four corners of the building and thus facing in a different compass direction. This results in a cross-shaped common area lit from all sides, with a north-eastern arm that widens out to form an area used by the pupils at break-times. A diffuse daylight prevails here, contrasting with the changing direct sunlight in the three other arms of the cross.

As the doors to the classrooms are positioned at the far ends of the arms, each room gains its own lobby. The irregular geometry is especially noticeable in these areas because the inside corner of each room indeed forms a right-angle and the short side of each room also joins the facade at a right-angle.

The layout of the rooms on the two upper floors is not identical. This means that although the rooms may appear

Fig. 124: The scattered layout of the village

the same, the changing lighting effects essentially create different rooms. On the outside this repositioning results in a sort of play on symmetry. Window frames in costly bronze make for a noble contrast with the crude simplicity of the concrete walls.

In terms of its construction, the school follows on the traditions of the houses of the Grisons canton. Solid concrete walls form the loadbearing structure, which contrasts starkly with the homely effect of the wood-lined rooms. The different characters of the rooms are thus highlighted: the warmth and intimacy of the classrooms contrasting with the hard, cool common areas (transition zones); a quiet, even muffled acoustic contrasting with resonance, warm brightness contrasting with differentiated light directed into the depth of each space.

Without any stylistic preferences, this school building, in terms of its character and construction, as well as in the nature of its interior, fits in exactly with its location.

Extract from: Archithese 2.97


Construction period Assistants:

Site manager Structural engineer

Valerio Olglatl, Zuriet 1996-1998 Iris Dätwyler Gaudenz Zindel Raphael Zuber Peter Diggelmann, Ctur Gebhard Deeasper, Ctur

Extract from: Archithese 2.97

Raphael Zuber
Fig. 123: Two sculptural elements project beyond the cube of the building: the canopy over the entrance and the water spout

Paspels School

Valerio OlgiatiValerio Olgiati Concept

Gebhard Decaspei Structural aspects

The engineer's report

The architectural concept called for the inside of the building to be separated from the external facade by 120 mm of thermal insulation without erecting a second loadbear-ing wall to support the floor slabs. This in turn called for an optimum engineering solution in order to transfer the support reactions from the walls and floors to the external facade.

The answer was to use high-strength double shear studs.

At ground floor level the two walls to the left and right of the stairs are the primary structural elements supporting the first floor. The inner walls of the first and second floors are the structural elements for the f loor and roof above respectively. The interaction with the floor and roof slabs (walls as webs, slabs as flanges) is taken into account. All the support reactions are transferred at the wall junctions transverse to the external walls. Double shear studs, one above the other, were incorporated in the facade at these junctions. The number of shear studs required depends on the loadbearing capacity of a single stud.

In order to eliminate the deflection of the unsupported slab edges (spans between 8.0 and 10.0 m) along the facade, additional support points with shear studs were incorporated in the centre of each slab edge span and at the corners of the facade.

Special attention had to be given to transferring the shear forces at the shear studs. The thermal i nsulation had to be reduced to 50 mm around the shear studs; however, this was acceptable in terms of the thermal requirements. In order to prevent - as far as possible - the formation of cracks in the external walls, particularly around the long windows, considerable additional longitudinal reinforcement was fitted in the areas at risk. The structural analysis of this new building represented a real challenge for the engineer.

Shear Studs Bridge Construction
Fig. 136: Cage of reinforcement with shear stud positioned ready for cast-

Paspels School

Olgiati Paspels

Fig. 142: Plan of 2nd floor, 1:200

1:50 working drawing (reduced)

Valerio Olgiati Concept

Paspels School

Fig. 143: South elevation, 1:200

1:50 working drawing (reduced)

Architectural PlansBarcelona Pavilion Floor Plan

Fig. 145: South elevation, formwork layout, 1:200

1:50 working drawing (reduced)

Fig. 145: South elevation, formwork layout, 1:200

1:50 working drawing (reduced)

Paspels School

Fig. 147: Section through classroom window, 1:20

1:5 working drawing (reduced)

Floor construction

Tongue and groove boards fixed with concealed screws, 26 mm

Pavatherm NK i mpact sound i nsulation 40 mm

Thermal i nsulation 74 mm

Concrete, type 6 280 mm

Wall construction

Concrete, type 5 250 mm

Thermal i nsulation 120 mm

Vapour barrier

Counter battens 30/60 mm

Tongue and groove boards fixed with concealed screws 18 mm

Roof construction

Sheet metal

Bitumen roofing felt, fully bonded Boarding 29 mm

Counter battens 60/60 mm

Battens 40 mm

Sarnafil TU 122/08, fully bonded Thermal i nsulation,

2 layers laid cross-wise 2 x 100 mm

Vapour barrier

Concrete, type 2 260 mm

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    Where are the classrooms in school of paspels?
    3 months ago
  • helen
    What angle is the roof pitched at on school in paspels?
    3 months ago

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