Salez Agricultural Centre/

Andy Senn


Project Details



Salez / Switzerland



Year (Design/Construction):

2011 / 2019

Area (Net/Gross):

5121 m2 / 5730 m2
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The main material used for the construction of the building was wood (structure, floors, wall and roof cladding, window frames).
  • The cooling of the building is mainly achieved by cross ventilation design, reducing the operational energy requirements.

Project description as provided by the Architects.

St. Gallen canton decided to replace old buildings and bring together various schools in a new agricultural centre in Salez. The new centre was to include classrooms and dormitory rooms, be sustainable and meet low-tech requirements. Andy Senn brought the contrasting uses together at a right angle, forming an open courtyard with the existing buildings. The two-storey school and the three-storey residential wings are connected by a mezzanine floor.

Following an extensive evaluation, the new centre was constructed in timber. Only the piles, basement, plinth and ground floor slab are made of in-situ cast concrete. Despite a length of over 100 metres, the new building is not monotonous: the rigid structure of timber construction is subtly interrupted by outdoor galleries, which shade the southern facade, and by the rhythm of windows and closed areas. Inside, the 2.14-metre column grid is broken up in several ways: at the entrance by an open staircase, the refectory area and a terrace, some of which extends over two storeys and is carved into the building; and in the long corridors by the changing position and colorful nature of the doors. ln the 4.5-metrehigh classrooms, high window bands on the facades and in the corridor provide ample light, despite the fact that the window area is limited to 30 percent of the facade for environmental reasons. 

Cooling is low-tech, achieved by cross-ventilation and the chimney effect. Technical equipment and the load-bearing structure are separated from each other for better maintenance, while pipes are exposed and contribute to the architectural expression of the bright and spacious atmosphere.

Client: Canton of St. Gallen

Architect: Andy Seen

Building management: Baudata, Schaan

Landscape architecture: Mettler, Gossau

Civil engineering: Merz Kley Partner, Altenrhein

HVAC: Richard Widmer, Hans Schär, Wil

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