Cantonal High School Wil

Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur: The new high school located on the periphery of Wil is surrounded by a mix of industrial and peripheral uses, former gravel pit and housing blocks from the 1980’s. The new design for the open space takes on a peculiar double-identity: an outdoor lounge-scape for 700 teenagers and surrounding inhabitants is played against an interpretation of the surrounding oaks and gravel landscape into a generous, strong identity in accordance with the atmosphere of the new building. Moving the parking to the edge of the site allowed for the creation of the large open space. A network of paths between the parking and the building entrances was avoided by reversing the usual material relation of paths on a grass background to that of enormous grass lounging sofas inserted into a gravel plane. A diffuse field of American Red Oaks creates spatial depth within the small parcel and a filter to the surrounding housing. The tactile palatte of materials juxtaposes velvety grass lounge sofas against the roughness of hornbeam hedges, oaks, gravel, and the large wooden house.

Landscape Architecture: Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur, Zürich
Project: Cantonal High School Wil
Completed: 2004
Location: Wil, Switzerland
Area: 15’000 m2
Client: Kanton St. Gallen
Photograph: Valentin Jeck, Robin Winogrond, Daniela Valentini
Cantonal High School Wil SG, 2001 – 2004. Architects Staufer Hasler