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House on the Square.

Elementary School Fürstenbrunn.

For this competition design of an elementary school, the idea of urban integration has been decisive. In addition, it was important to provide increased value for the entire community.

The new educational campus takes up the urban grain of Fürstenbrunn and thus builds on the existing village structure. With a clearly defined village square, it forms the new center of the community.

The elementary school, the full-day school and the gymnasium are designed as independent buildings, connected by a one-story, largely glazed base. The full-day school integrates itself into the urban structure of the existing residential buildings through a rotation.

The gymnasium, in turn, picks up on the lines of the kindergarten building and, by lowering the level of the gymnasium, enables a connection to the heights of the existing building. Extensive glazing gives it the appearance of a pavilion with a flying roof allowing people to look through. This creates a visual axis from the schoolyard to the green area of the kindergarten.

The planned design in timber hybrid construction allows a high degree of prefabrication and thus ensures a fast construction process and a short construction time.

Vertical wooden slats divide and structure the facades, serve as climbing aids for the greenery and provide external sun protection. All roof surfaces are extensively greened and equipped with flat-sloped PV modules in a pyramid configuration in an east-west orientation.

Optimal year-round conditioning is provided by a groundwater heat pump, powered by solar electricity generated on site.

The new multifunctional village square becomes a car-free meeting zone and is closed to transit traffic. Thus, a safe arrival and a safe stay in the outdoor area is ensured for the children.

On the inside, the spacious assembly hall functions as a continuation of the village square and as a gallery for the lowered gymnasium. In the south, the village square is bordered by seating, water features and shadowing trees.

The ground floor of the school building provides common areas for educators, school management and administration. On the 1st floor, a creative area offers additional educational opportunities and a roof garden that allows views of the auditorium below. The classrooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor. In addition, an outdoor class is planned in the northern school garden, which benefits from the shade of the school building in summer.

In the interior spaces, visible and tangible wood surfaces provide a calming and engaging learning experience.

To generate added value for the community, the design was crafted with a focus on multi-use for the building, allowing for local events to take place in addition to school activities. For example, there is barrier-free access to the gymnasium, which can also be used for merchandise deliveries. Likewise, the auditorium can be used as a separate venue for events. Due to its direct connection to the serving kitchen, it is possible to cater for the new village square during festivities.

The library is positioned directly on the village square and can be used outside school hours through a separate entrance.

See all Projects


EU-wide, Open, Single-Stage Realization Competition

Project type

Elementary school


Addition of Storeys, New Construction & Renovation



Project Management

Arch. Dipl. Ing. Alexander Topf

Project cooperation

Dr. Fabian Löser, BSc


Fürstenbrunn | Salzburg | Austria