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Hintergrund 27

Baustelle Schule. Wie lernen wir morgen?

School construction. There is actually no other building task known in recent architectural history that has fallen so far behind a state of knowledge and practice once already achieved. School construction in Austria had a special cultural-political significance in the sixties and early seventies of the last century.



There was a spirit of optimism. New forms of learning, new pedagogical models were to be found. Public spaces that included the population were conceived and built. Studies were written, ideas from architects such as Ottokar Uhl, Viktor Hufnagl, Gustav Peichl and many others were ventilated. Just recently, the renowned Swiss architect Peter Märkli celebrated the Hallenschule in Wörgl, built by Hufnagl in 1973, as a prime example of architecturally skillful renovation. “Continuing to build in the spirit of the time of origin, but with today’s means, succeeded here in an exemplary manner,” wrote the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
So are we better at continuing to build than at rebuilding? Because sometime in the 1980s, a school-building bureaucracy began to impose itself with a thicket of rules and regulations whose programs were again assimilated to the barracks of the conquistadores in the conquered South American jungle. Even the celebrated school building initiative in Vienna of the eighties and nineties could offer better architectural bodies, but the typology was again backward. That is why the Az W, in close cooperation with the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (Federal Real Estate Company), invited participants to a school construction symposium. Its thought-provoking results are gathered in this Az W backgrounder. The international school construction of today’s future was brought to the attention of those responsible in an exemplary manner.