School Dotzigen goes into operation



After the summer vacations, around 100 students will take the new school building into use. The timber construction convinces with a generous and flexible room concept - this requires a well thought-out structural concept.

After a year of construction, the Büetigen-Diessbach-Dotzigen Upper School Association has been handed the key. Around 100 students will be cooking, working and making music in the new school wing after the summer vacations. The building replaces the special wing built in 1975 on the same site. Over the past 25 years, this building had become an investment ruin due to structural damage. A new building is therefore the best solution from various points of view. Thanks to the new elevator and the walkway on the upper floor, the two school buildings are now wheelchair accessible.

Flexible room concept 

The work and group rooms as well as the spacious school kitchen are oriented to the north. On the one hand, this allows a view of the nearby forest, and on the other hand, the rooms are less warm in summer. On the warmer south side, with a view of the neighboring buildings, are the access zones and the foyer. The almost 240 m² large multi-purpose room on the first floor can be divided into three separate rooms with two sliding walls. This allows maximum flexibility of use for the school building.

Bild Mehrzweckraum
Plan Mehrzweckraum

Top: Picture of the finished multipurpose room with the beech wood beams and the folding partitions. Bottom: Plan of this room

Well thought-out structural concep

The multi-purpose room, which is almost ten meters wide, is spanned with glulam beams made of beech wood. They carry the prescribed live load of 3kN (300 kg per square meter) for school buildings. Thanks to clever design and suspended ceilings, only just under 40 centimeters of the 96-centimeter-high girders are visible. Thus, they integrate well into the room. Plans have also been made to add an additional storey: If space is needed later, the building can simply be extended by one floor.

The seven-meter-wide folding glass door at the west end of the building allows further flexibility of use. A concert by the school band inside the room, for example, can be followed from the stairs in front of the building.

Bild Westfassade
Plan Westfassade

Top: Image of the west facade with the seven-meter-wide window front and the passerelle into the old building. Bottom: Plan of the west facade

Construction costs 

In order to provide the best possible conditions for teaching the students of the association municipalities Büetigen-Diessbach-Dotzigen, the electorate granted a building loan of 4.1 million Swiss francs in 2019. Today, two years later, the Biel-based architectural firm Leimer Tschanz Architekten AG was able to achieve a precision landing in the construction costs.



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