New State Archive in Waldau, St. Gallen, CH
4th prize in the project competition as part of an open general planner process
The Waldau Study Center should be remodeled and expanded as a new location for the State Archive of St. Gallen. Besides this comprehensive upgrading, it is also planned to build a new depot. The convincing project by ATP architects engineers took 4th prize in the open process. The jury was full of praise for the respectful approach to the existing built substance that was expressed by the design.
The concept by ATP focuses on the refurbishment and repurposing of the existing structure and the sustainability of the new depot. This is achieved by retaining the primary structure and the distinctive facade grid and architectural language of the original building. Overall, however, the subtle interventions lend the building a modern, self-confident, and timeless appearance, while the layouts should simplify workflows.
This sensitive adaptation is most obvious in the canopies, which will give the State Archive the elegance and gravity required by a public landmark, and the red glazing of the upper-level balustrades. A finely structured wall of polished steel accompanies the main entrance. The resulting mirror effect appears to draw the natural wooded park deep into the interior of the new archive.
In order to support the idea of a sustainable building, ATP’s design proposes a concept for reducing energy demand while increasing energy efficiency. A green roof with a PV plant should increase biodiversity while optimizing resilience against heat. In order to retain the charm of the original building while also saving materials, existing elements and materials are used wherever possible. The objective of this selection of regional, ecological, and sustainable materials is to increase user comfort.