HSG Learning Center St.Gallen

In an interview, Walter Förderer refers to an architecture that combines the “purposefully necessary” with the “necessarily purposeless”: namely, the anonymous means of standardization and the artistic and individual values of the “habitable sculpture”, which provide the university building with the expression appropriate to its dignity. This dignity is particularly evident in the huge plateau of the substructure with its majestic flight of stairs. A topographical element, which is taken over by the Learning Center in the further extension of the campus and continues its orthogonality.

In the interior space, all movable elements serve the changeability and expandability of the constantly changing use. The changing functions and uses of a Learning Center must be the determining factors of the programming. A programme in which flexibility has to move from the edge to the centre of the architectural discussion. Change is a genuine part of the fundamental principles of this architectural concept. The clearly layered and structured layout should immediately evoke the spatial flexibility. This determines the perception of the space not only as to its depth and width, but also as to the height of the entire building, which is why the Learning Center wraps itself around the inner hall, a type of space that, in architecture, has always united the world of teaching with the world of dialogue.


In its essential parts, the supporting structure consists of a monolithic concrete construction. Large spans ensure the necessary flexibility. Two floors are placed above a box-shaped basement. Load-bearing elements are four stabilizing pillars (in the recessed corners of the floor plan) associated with stairwells and lifts, a series of façade supports and the two Vierendeel frames inside.

The stress ratios under quasi-permanent loads were studied on a plate model. In the frame nodes, maximum stresses of approx. 200 MPa occur in the reinforcement, plus compressive stresses of -10 Mpa in the concrete. These are highly acceptable values that can be influenced in a further processing by additional local reinforcements.

The earthquake protection is handled, on the one hand, by the elongated shear wall of the axes B, C, and H and, on the other hand, the compact pier discs of the areas B5-C4 and H2-H3. The Vierendeel frames are connected to the ceiling above the first floor over quite some length. This makes them look like large outriggers in their plane, which are supported by the vertical supporting elements of the C and H axes. The static conditions, which are clearly arranged in a horizontal direction, allow a plastic form of the pillar plates.

LOCATION: St. Gallen


CLIENT: HSG Foundation, St. Gallen



Markus Peter, Patrick Rinderknecht, Alice Hucker

Leonie Amsler, Raphael Jans

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: Müller, Illien Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, Zurich

CIVIL ENGINEER: Conzett Bronzini Partner AG, Chur

HVAC: Amstein+Walthert AG, Zurich

RENDERINGS: Fabien Schwartz, Zug



Site plan

top floor plan and basement

ground floor plan and upper floor plan


cross section

cross section HSG Campus

south east view

south west view

Load bearing structure

Load bearing structure

Entrance view

Street view


Upper landscape