Designed as an experimental field for future-oriented forms of teaching and learning, Square is not just another university campus building. Instead, it serves as a home to new ideas, concepts, experimentation, and debate. The building was designed by Sou Fujimoto, while Evolution Design was commissioned to develop a comprehensive interior and learning concept that enables experimental learning and teaching.
Square's unique design is based on the concept of unbroken connectivity and multifunctionality. All spaces can be used for dynamic learning and teaching scenarios, from communication and collaboration to concentration and individual work. The interior architects developed a customized toolbox concept to accommodate the daily changes in the use of space. This toolbox includes movable furniture and equipment that can be easily combined to create distinctive layouts and atmospheres within the open plaza.
The learning center spans around 7000 square meters, with two upper floors, a ground floor, and a basement. The ground floor welcomes visitors with a cafeteria, a lounge, rooms for learning and pop-up events, and the main open plaza. This bustling space changes daily, hosting a variety of activities from workshops and masterclasses to group projects and events with external guests.
The University of St. Gallen aims to become a symbol of innovation in education, and Square is a significant step towards this goal. Built as a prototype for the university of the future, Square encourages dialogue between science, society, business, politics, and culture. The Hsg Foundation received around 65 million Swiss francs in donations to build Square and support its content development in the initial phase, marking the largest fundraising campaign in the university's history.
Evolution Design faced the challenge of modeling countless learning and event scenarios that could take place in Square. They developed a comprehensive scheme of furniture, presentation equipment, and architectural elements that would satisfy the current and future uses of the space. The result is an inspiring and vibrant environment for learning and teaching that gives students, lecturers, and the wider society a future-oriented platform for exchange, dialogue, and surprising encounters.
Square's innovative design and unique approach to learning spaces have earned it the Silver in A' Interior Space, Retail and Exhibition Design Award in 2023. This prestigious award is given to top-of-the-line, creative, and professionally remarkable designs that illustrate outstanding expertise and innovation. Square's design showcases a remarkable level of excellence and introduces positive feelings, amazement, and wonder, truly redefining the concept of learning spaces.
Project Designers: Evolution Design
Image Credits: Image #1: Photographer Peter Wuermli, 2022. Image #2: Gataric Fotografie, 2022. Image #3: Photographer Peter Wuermli, 2022. Image #4: Photographer Peter Wuermli, 2022. Image #5: Photographer Peter Wuermli, 2022.
Project Team Members: Carolin Michalka Jessica Mentz Zhiyang Chiu Patrik Uihlein Dariusz Florczak Stuart Dickens
Project Name: Square
Project Client: Evolution Design