Europe’s first schools were monasteries, hidden from the public eye. They evolved into mediaeval universities; cloistered courtyards opening up in public squares. With this in mind, how should a prominently located learning space look? An urban gesture, rather than a hermetic campus, seems to be the best way for the idea of a “gateway” into Bernex from Geneva.
As a result, our proposal aims to go beyond the present institutional programme and establish a new municipal plaza in Bernex. The design creates a distinct urban space where people from nearby districts may gather. As a result, the plan’s civic plaza may be larger than the program’s components.
The layout confines one end of the plaza to a perimeter block based on the area’s typology, while the park contains the other. Each of the program’s three unique functions: a secondary school, a vocational training centre, and a sports facility, gets housed inside the perimeter block to the west. The pavilion blocks the municipal plaza and the park. This ample, covered space can host various social and cultural events.
With its strong image and identity, the project becomes a modern “acropolis” for the people of Bernex.