Schulhaus Haldenbüel
Gossau, Switzerland


The refurbishment of this 1907 school building entails much more than a simple facelift. The remit was twofold. Firstly, to recreate the original dialogue between two buildings: the school and the adjacent church, both designed by the Swiss architect Adolf Gaudy. Secondly, to completely remodel the interior in line with current learning environment standards.

In heritage terms, this is arguably the most striking building ensemble in the town of Gossau. A conservation delight! Even the difficult installation of the lift was achieved with great elegance. A highlight of Gossau’s architectural landscape, there for all to see.


The school has once again become a place where both school users and local residents like to gather.


Recreating an ensemble. First, the Gossau school house was given a forecourt with a row of trees extending right up to the church, making a meaningful connection between the two buildings and providing a new exterior space for pupils and staff. The main aim of the project was to restore the facade of the school building and replace the saddle roof gables, a later addition, by curved gables, and so to re-establish the architectural references between church and school. New windows following the original wood and glass design have re-established the school’s original proportions.



As far as the school and its pupils are concerned, the feedback is still overwhelmingly positive. The materials and surfaces used inside the building have proved particularly popular.


The problem posed by the difference in height between the original school and the 1950s-built sports hall was solved by means of a new flight of steps. 

The entrance to the original structure is now fully accessible and the building as a whole is available to all user groups thanks to the installation of a lift.

A series of wooden posts rising to the roof, some planted with climbers, has been added around the fragmented façade of the extension building, providing a sheltered open space.

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