Fritz Haller - Switzerland
Cantonal School Baden
Seminarstrasse 3, Baden
1962 - 1964

This building complex is the result of an open architectural competition, which was carried out in 1957 and which saw 87 proposals submitted.
In the second round of the competition the jury decided in favor of the proposal by Fritz Haller. He himself emphasized, that in these buildings there is not even
a gram of material wasted. Proportions instead of ornaments was one of the principles adopted.
The five modernist volumes made of steel, glass and brick
constructed according to a modular system between 1962 and 1964. With these buildings according to the design by Fritz Haller, the right bank of
the small city of Baden received its own city crown.

Fritz Haller developed the buildings on the basis of the mentioned grid and chose a dimension between axes of eight meters. He divided this measurement for
the second level of hierarchy in an undersize of two meters. All five buildings are based on these eight meters axle dimensions, while the building site was
further structured into three zones. These are the wide central zone with forecourt, main building and auditorium wing and the two lateral zones separated by tree-lined avenues.
 On the right side this lateral zone contains the sports facilities, while the wings for the teaching of the natural sciences and the wings for teaching creativity are to be found on
the opposite side. This zoning should be maintained also for future expansion on the east side of the rear area. The grid is omnipresent, it is to be found in the floor panels of
the forecourt as well as in the ceiling trim or in the window partitions. Form and shape of this architecture are related to the designs by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Between Mies' project for the campus of the IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) in Chicago and the comparatively small Cantonal School Campus in Baden there
are numerous analogies.

The north-facing physic tract was sited very adept by Fritz Haller, it is positioned in front of the other buildings by the length of one building, so that a semi-enclosed space
situation arises which at least visually forecloses the school operating from the bustle at the bridgehead. The fully glazed ground floor of the main building is offset
by half a bay inwards, creating a covered school court area. The large hall is used for staying and for circulation, which is made by a centrally positioned core consisting
of two large steel stairs and the toilet facilities. On the three upper floors are located
18 classrooms to the west and east side, the teachers' rooms, drawing rooms
and equipment rooms. The comparatively small classroom contrast with the generous spaces of the circulation area. Counting the area of the hall with staircase and
the toilet facilities these together achieve the same extent as the classrooms. This was a major concern of Fritz Haller, who actually wanted to build no classrooms at all,
but pleaded for an experimental school with open teaching halls. Fritz Haller consciously created spatial connections, for example by using the same flooring material
for the forecourt and the hall of the main building or by endowing the classrooms with glass doors which allow a relation between exterior space, classrooms
and common areas. The gym building gives the feeling of being in a covered outdoor area, while the daylight floods the side wings, which are lowered by half a storey.

The first construction stage of the cantonal school Baden is to be understood as an open and transparent school. The campus was obscured

by cumbersome extensions in the years
1972-1977.  The buildings by Fritz Haller were comprehensively rehabilitated in an exemplary way in terms
of preservation and building ecology by the architects Zulauf & Schmidlin in the years 2005 - 2007.