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forestry school in lyss

new low-energy fimber frame school building

The Swiss architecture critic Benedict Loderer once called the Forestry School in Lyss the biggest timber frame building in the Central Europe, a ´timber manifesto´. more

The school with a boarding house, whose investor and operator is a foundation of 11 Swiss cantons, was carried out exactly according to the winning competition project in cooperation with I+B Architekten, Bern, in the Grentscheltal area on the outskirts of Lyss by Bern. A cube containing classes and ancillary rooms is floating above the 160 m long roof terrace placed on a shared concrete base containing a school canteen and rooms that could not be built as a timber structure due to fire protection, i.e. workshops, material and forestry machines storage rooms, and a car park. A glazed entrance storey, which is situated below, affords a view from the street to the forest. Four timber boarding house units rest laterally on the base rear interconnected with the school and among themselves by a roofed footbridge. The Forestry School is not a regular school, but a large wood-processing workshop and a facility researching related new technologies. Even the structure demonstrates that. Students selected trunks from local forests to be used as posts; their structural capacity had been tested by ultrasound beforehand; trunks were dried then, engineered, fitted with shrinkage cuts, and installed in a 6 x 10 m module. The primary horizontal structure consists of 70 cm high bonding ties; lower quality round logs that could otherwise be hardly used as lumber were selected as the material for structural floors. Timber facades with ample fenestration are protected against the sunshine and the weather by lamellas – a glass type in front of strip windows and a replaceable timber type in front of solid panels below windows. A low-cost short-span timber structure was selected for the four boarding blocks. We conceived the entire development as a low-energy project; forestry residues and wood waste are currently used as a fuel. In its time, the school was the biggest timber building in the Central Europe.

  • address
    Lyss near Bern, Switzerland
  • year1993
  • investorNadace Interkantonální Lesnická škola Lyss
  • design teamRichard Doležal, I+B Architekten, Martin Weibel
  • collaborationRegina Glatz, Magi Blumer
  • photographs/visualizationsFilip Šlapal
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