Campus - 11.07.2019 - 00:00 

HSG Learning Center granted planning permission

The HSG Foundation has been granted the building right by the Canton and planning permission by the City of St.Gallen for the HSG Learning Center. This means that an important milestone for the implementation of Sou Fujimoto’s architectural project has been reached. The groundbreaking ceremony for the innovative building is expected to take place in November 2019.

11 July 2019. In times of digitalised knowledge, teaching contents must in future concentrate on competencies in which people generate added value: logical thinking and problem-solving, social and emotional competencies, cooperation and creativity. This didactic vision is expected to manifest itself in the HSG Learning Center and thus enable new teaching and learning formats for the future. The HSG Foundation is realising the HSG Learning Center next to the Library Building. With the approx. 500-700 learning and working stations, additional space can be created for learning in the digital age.

Amicable solutions

The planning application was submitted in early 2019, and the neighbouring residents were informed. All in all, four objections were lodged, all of which could be resolved amicably. The height of the building measured from street level is lower than originally planned since the terrain will be excavated more deeply. In order to reduce light emissions, the windows of the HSG Learning Center will be darkened in the evenings and at night. Noise emission in the evenings will be reduced by means of limited access to the terraces.

Groundbreaking ceremony and start of construction

After the Government of the Canton of St.Gallen had granted the HSG Foundation the building right for the HSG Learning Center, the City of St.Gallen granted planning permission on 5 July 2019. Detailed planning work for the construction of the building is already advanced. It is planned that implementation will be in the hands of a general contractor. The groundbreaking ceremony is expected to take place in November 2019, and construction to start in spring 2020. From then on, an increase in construction traffic will have to be expected in Guisanstrasse, which is adjacent to the site. Safe traffic management in Guisanstrasse will be guaranteed in consultation with the authorities.




Video interview: Sou Fujimoto on his project "Open Grid", the Learning Center at the University of St.Gallen




Learning Center: Sou Fujimoto on «Open Grid – Choices of Tomorrow»












Architects Sou Fujimoto and Marie de France talk about their project "Open Grid", the new Learning Center at the University of St.Gallen. How does the building fit into its surroundings? What are the project's focal points and which aspects are decisive for a modern learning environment that embraces the digital future?




Independent and transformable

The project with a floor space of about 7,000m2 comprises a structure consisting of several cubes arranged on a grid. In this way, the building takes into consideration the fact that the surrounding area consists of small residential units, while at the same time it impresses with its independence. The structure of the building is arranged in such a manner that the rooms can be transformed – perfectly in keeping with the didactic requirements. During term time, the HSG Learning Center will primarily be used for modern forms of teaching, whereas during the learning and examination periods, learning stations will be added onto the premises.

An initiative of the HSG Foundation

The HSG Foundation is funding the building completely through donations. CHF 40-50m are budgeted for the construction and the interior of the HSG Learning Center. The HSG Foundation assumes that the operation of the building according to the didactic concept in subsequent years will require another CHF 10m. All in all, the donation initiative aims to raise an amount of approx. CHF 60m. So far, CHF 50m has been donated.

Sustainable and flexible

Owing to its efficient energy concept, the sustainability of its design, the materials used and a smart use of water, the HSG Learning Center satisfies the requirements of the Minergie standard. Heating and cooling will be achieved through geothermal probes and a free cooling system.

Image: Sou Fujimoto Architekten,

Discover our special topics