Learning Landscapes at St. Johann Basel

  • Completed 2019
  • Location Basel, Switzerland,
  • ZMIK brought cohesive color and creative play to Learning Landscapes at St. Johann Basel in Basel, Switzerland.

    New forms of teaching require new spatial structures and consensus. At the St. Johann primary school in Basel, we have reconstructed the three main corridors into multi-functional areas of learning and recreation. In a co-operation process, students and teachers developed their ideas and requirements as a basis for the project. We developed the basic ideas and integrated them into the historical fabric of the school. A pioneering spatial structure for new learning has emerged.

    The three different zones − cloakroom, learning landscape and recreation area − give the corridors a new structure. Expansive cloakrooms have been created at both ends of the corridor. They act as portals that separate the inner corridor from the staircases. Hidden behind a slat structure, along the window side of the corridor the terraced learning landscapes have been created. In the central space between the flanking constructions is a large open space that serves as a recreational area.

    The topography opens ever changing, new perspectives out of the windows and into the corridor. The pupils can discover varying spatial niches on differing levels. The »cave« and the »perch« with its view, are inviting retreats. Various work surfaces invite for individual and group work. Slide, balancing beams and bouncy balls support the concept of »dynamic lessons« whilst the lounge and the alcoves act as meeting and reading spaces.

    The integration of the windows in the learning landscape brings it close to natural day light. Even the specially designed acoustic umbrellas are fitted with integrated lights that create a differentiated and inviting atmosphere.

    The installations improve the acoustics in the corridors in various ways. The cloakrooms with clothing hangers on both sides act as absorption chambers, that deaden the noise. The slats as well as the folded and terraced constructions diminish the noise. The large acoustic umbrellas provide additional noise absorption.

    Materials and Colour In the choice of materials, priority was given to natural materials and a diverse haptic. The cloakroom area as well as the work surfaces are finished in oak and are thus in tune with the existing floors and windows. The learning landscape has been kept in a green tone. Linoleum, carpet and textile surfaces offer variation.

    Architect: ZMIK
    Photography: Weisswert