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Commentary from the Austrian Architecture centre in Nextroom. There we read:

In consequence of the devastating avalanche in Blons in January, 1954, snow supporting structures were erected and the protection forest was extended to help better protect the village.  Because there is ample high quality timber from the forest like Spruce, Larch, Silver Fir and Sycamore, it stood to reason that the town- owned resources should be used for the upcoming central building project.  Bruno Spagolla, who had already made an extension for the secondary school in the 1980‘s, won a contest for the construction of a two classroom elementary school with a gymnasium, and a new office for the municipal administration with a restaurant and a village shop.  These multi-layered functions, which are important to the village identity, are divided into two constructions built from timber.   They had to define the flat area and correspond with or newly define the church courtyard.  

Both cubatures (lower level concrete, remaining walls solid wood, ceilings and roof, diagonal dowel wood construction elements),  are deferred to the south slope, for the benefit of the village-like qualities of the area around the church and so that the lower level on the valley side receives enough sunlight.

You enter the gabled elementary school building and the village shop, on the drawn-in north east corner.  The classrooms are on the upper level, and the gymnasium, with a view of the valley, is on the lower level.  The pediment of the attic is completely glassed in and has a built-in gallery which is used as a seminar room.  The village restaurant is on the ground floor of the west building, which is also accessible from the north corner.  Underneath, accessible from the west side are the municipal offices.  The large proportion of internal labour as well as the high, and at the same time unobtrusive construction quality of this new village centre consolidation, were probably the reasons why the new building was not only a virtual property, but also became a symbolic property of the community.

The central union of Austrian architects awarded the project with the construction prize in 2004 and emphasised the unique constellation of the responsibilities:  „The mayor chose a very direct and democratic decision making policy.   In two big village assemblies, the project was discussed, a workgroup made up of interested townspeople was made, and the decision making authority configured.   All aspects of the planning were worked on until they were widely accepted, right up to the integration of a  challenging and very sensitive art project.“   This shows that the ever strived for „common denominator“ doesn‘t have the smallest effect, but, on the contrary, can have the best effect.   The text is from Gabriele Kaiser and was published in December, 2004.

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