Forecasts indicating a significant increase in student numbers have prompted a decision to build new school buildings at the Halden High School campus in Opfikon. Working together with the Guignard & Saner architectural firm, EBP is responsible for planning the façade for a new pentagon-shaped building and a new gymnasium.
The architectural specifications called for room-sized, metal window casements on the ground floor and for each upper level, extending to a skylight construction on the top floor. The building is accessed through an automatic sliding-door system that is integrated into a separate glass structure on the ground floor. Given that the exterior concrete columns were poured on location and already in place at the time the window casements were to be mounted, special attachment components needed to be developed to secure the window casements. Meeting the demanding acoustic-protection specifications with a single-skin façade also proved to be a challenge.
Prefab concrete and brick elements were deployed under the window casements and between the cast-in-situ concrete columns. These consist partially of a lower component that is used to support the prefab brick walls while at the same creating niches inside the building that are protected against direct sunlight. The elements are topped by a windowsill. The layer of insulation behind the elements wraps entirely around the building without any points of diminished insulation capacity.
The same basic architecture design was also used for the gymnasium. One exception, however, is the gymnasium’s large prefab glass-brick walls that are supported by the concrete elements and attached laterally to the columns. Skylight ribbon-window casements made of metal are mounted above the glass-brick walls. Some of the windows themselves can be opened.