Competitions – Case study No. 3 – School – Dietrich/Untertrifaller Architekten – Austria

Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016: Primary School in Höchst, AT, 2016–2017
Case study No. 3
The client asked for a design with both a very high ecological standard and a new teaching concept

The A10-survey into Competition Culture in Europe 2013–2016, commissioned by Architectuur Lokaal, has made it clear that the word ‘competition’ does not mean the same thing in every country in Europe. Sometimes a competition refers to a design contest without any intention of realization, sometimes it refers to a full tender procedure, or anything in between. To gain a better insight in the nature of competitions in Europe A10-correspondents collected 50 case studies from 17 countries. Combined they show the differences in topics, fees, procedures, scale, transparency, and clients.

Why?
This competition procedure and its task is very typical for small municipalities in Austria. The competition was outstanding because of its well-prepared brief.

What?
The task for this competition was to design a primary school for the municipality of Höchst, a small community with around 8,000 inhabitants in Vorarlberg, in the western part of Austria, and the also client of this competition. Höchst has an existing primary school, which had to be extended or built anew with at least ten new classrooms, a new sports hall, offices, and additional rooms. The client asked for a design with both a very high ecological standard and a new teaching concept. The competition was above the EU threshold, so it was announced in the
Official Journal of the European Union as an restricted competition. The submission of a reference project was requested in the first stage. The competition brief was prepared in agreement with the local Chamber of Architects, Kammer der Architekten und Ingenieurkonsulenten für Tirol und Vorarlberg. For the second phase, 30 architectural teams were selected. The municipality of Höchst sought an innovative school layout for a new teaching concept that included a much larger spatial possibility.

Winner
The winning project by Dietrich/Untertrifaller Architekten (AT) is characterized by high-quality spaces in the inner and exterior areas.

When?
The project was finished in April 2017.

Competition culture in Austria was surveyed by A10-correspondent Anne Isopp in Vienna. This survey is the start of a four-year research project by Architectuur Lokaal and A10 new European architecture Cooperative. Copy editor: Dutton Hauhart. Images: Dietrich/Untertrifaller Architekten.

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