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A New Center

Konrad Lorenz Gymnasium, Lower Austria

EU-wide open design & build competition, 1st Prize

The 1970s building occupied by the secondary school Konrad Lorenz Gymnasium in Gänserndorf desperately needs an update—a fact on which school administrators, the municipality, and the state property management company BIG (Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft) all agree. So we’re giving the school’s students a new communicative center surrounded by lots of green open space.

From a dark maze of hallways to a communicative and open center.

Konrad Lorenz Gymnasium Gänserndorf
Floor Plans for the Ground Floor and Garden Floor

A Heart for Everyone

In place of the three long, single-story classroom wings that have divided the school grounds up to now, we’re creating new space for Gänserndorf’s young people, who’ve been growing more and more numerous in recent years. We’re demolishing the existing dark and convoluted labyrinth of corridors and stairways to build an open, three-story structure that will house all 40 of the school’s classroom groups. The two adjoining buildings to the south and the north, on the other hand, will be renovated in the interest of creating a new, unified whole. And soon, students and teachers will move flexibly between clusters, decentralized break areas, and open spaces instead of marching from their home classrooms to the physics lab with blinders firmly in place.

This is all about creating the spatial conditions for modern, flexible teaching and learning.

BIG General Manager Wolfgang Gleissner

The steeply sloped school grounds, previously viewed as a drawback, will help to characterize this new school: a bright and airy assembly hall will connect all three floors via broad stairways with stair seating, thus becoming a central place of encounters and orientation.

Konrad Lorenz Gymnasium Gänserndorf
Elevation and section

Educative Wilderness

The school’s new common center will provide access to the school’s two courtyards as well as to the large and diverse school garden. And our compact new building allows the potential of the previously used terrain to fully unfold: we’re creating a small park for relaxation, movement, play, and creative learning that alternates between structured areas and more natural ones with a wild appearance.

This project is convincing for its clarity, for the spatial qualities of its interior and exterior, and for the well-conceived way in which it connects with preexisting structures.

Excerpt from the Jury Protocol

Thinking Big for Gänserndorf

We’re designing the outdoor area in front of the school, which is right next to Gänserndorf’s public swimming pool, to be a representative entrance area. As Gänserndorf’s largest complex of buildings, Konrad Lorenz Gymnasium is a major factor in the town’s overall appearance – and in fact, Franz&Sue’s designs are helping to shape Gänserndorf in more places than just here. In 2017, we won a competition together with the landscape architecture firm EGKK to develop a new master plan for Gänserndorf’s town center. In choosing our design, the municipality showed its courage to innovate – and we’re therefore very much looking forward to spending many productive hours in Lower Austria.

Konrad Lorenz Gymnasium Gänserndorf
Site plan

Details

Type of commission

EU-weit offener einstufiger Wettbewerb

Scope of commission

Generalplanung

Awards

1. Preis

Client

Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.

Location

Gänserndorf, Niederösterreich

Design

2018

Status

In Bearbeitung

Net usable floor area

10.600 m²

Gross floor area

12.000 m²

Team

Lucie Vencelidesová (PL), Andreas Reuter, Lara Baler, Alexandra Flanjak, Gregor Natter