School Building Champagne in Biel, Switzerland

Customer Project

21 January 2019




Timber Structures


The modular structure of the school will only remain at the present location for eight years. After this period, 36 timber modules including the screw foundations will be removed entirely and reconstructed at another location. Therefore, a completely new configuration of the floors and the ground plan design will be possible. The simple yet functional structure includes the architectural highlight of a front-facing flight of stairs constructed with timber truss girders.

Client Town of Biel, Switzerland
Architect Verve Architekten GmbH
Structural Engineering, Fire Resistance Josef Kolb AG
Timber Structure Renggli AG

Model Data of the Flight of Stairs


The engineers of Josef Kolb AG were responsible for the structural engineering and fire resistance design and utilized RFEM for the structural analysis.


The supporting slabs and walls of the modular structure were designed with cross-laminated timber (CLT). All modules were entirely prefabricated at the timber building company Renggli AG including the building envelope, doors, light, heating elements, etc. Due to this efficient construction method, the school building was assembled in four short days.

All structural connections and technical installations were designed plugged, screwed or coupled for efficient and easy disassembling.

The visually appealing flight of stairs attached to the building front consists of a glued-laminated timber truss structure. It is supported by T-beams and steel square pipe supports. The connection points consist of slotted sheets and guide pins. Metal profile gratings were used for the steps and stair landings.

The open staircase along with the efficient modular construction of the building envelope has proven to not only be functional but also cost effective.

Project Location

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  • Updated 2 November 2020

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