Playing a Graphical Game with Perception for Schendlingen School
Atelier Gassner – Visual Essays
In accordance with the purpose for which it was founded the DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt/German Federal Environmental Foundation) subsidises innovative, environmentally conscious, model building projects. The concept for the subsidies also includes financing scientific studies of the respective projects and disseminating these in quality book form. Atelier Gassner was commissioned to devise a concept for an edition consisting of several volumes. The first publication documents the new building for Schmuttertal Gymnasium (high-school): here innovative educational ideas and a participative approach to planning produce unusual spatial systems, ambitious ecological goals direct the construction, and functionality and inspiration shape the architecture. Client and subsidy provider, users and planners, experts for building law and technical services document the creation of this building, augmented by plans and photographs.
The editions were deliberately published in German, and the search for a name led to the striking and yet self-explanatory term “Bauband” (literally “building volume”).
The challenge was how best to describe and depict complex contents so that they are clearly legible and can be quickly understood. At the same time this book was not intended to be a standard illustrated architectural volume nor a dry treatise with a preponderance of text. Using the tools provided by micro and macro typographical design and making considerable demands on editorial photography the narrative requirements could be successfully met. The plans and diagrams, which were produced especially for this book, provide in-depth information.
Through the format alone, the easy to open “Swiss brochure” and the stable card binding, the book suggests a report with the character of a working folder. A colour, which differs from volume to volume, contrasts with the restrained grey that is used for the covers of all the volumes. This striking coloured framework for the book block is reflected in completely coloured pages that separate the chapters and visibly articulate the contents and, when one looks at the cut edge of the closed book, appear like inserted “floor levels”.