Swiss architecture practice Frei Rezakhanlou Architectes was founded in 2001 by Eric Frei and Kaveh Rezakhanlou, both graduates of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Their work has been recognized through publications, prizes in competitions and awards, the one of which include Germany's Best Architect 14, they received for the project presented below.
The building, serving as a kindergarten, primary school and multi-purpose hall is located in Chermignon, Canton of Valais, Switzerland. The facilities are used by five distinct villages and the site chosen. Built on a steep site, the new educational centre responds by means of strong and recognisable forms. Harmoniously set on the slope, the building hosts kindergarten for 60 children, school for 140 pupils, multi-purpose hall, foyer, cafeteria and courtyard.
"The kindergarten is a lower two storeys volume set to the south and overlooking a spectacular view across the valley. The enclosed playground is a mid level platform accessible from both floors of the kindergarten. The school and the multi-purpose hall touch at an angle and become one volume. Each is used independently but being under the same roof was not only cost-effective but makes them complimentary by greatly facilitating the use of the sports hall by pupils and vice-versa the use of the school’s refectory for the spectators when the hall is used as a theatre or as a musical venue. The primary school contains 8 classrooms, a teacher’s room, a computer room and a top floor room, also lit by a skylight, for handicraft and creative activities,” explained the architects.
The structure of the building is concrete, and also defines the internal spaces, which are enriched by the use of white concrete and wood. The multi-purpose hall is entirely covered in larch panels and the same wood was used for all windows.