Lukas Raeber
Feuerwehrzentrum Ofaz
Fire Station Training Center Bernhardzell, St. Gallen

The fire service training centre lies on the north-west, lower end of the plot in Bernhardzell, where the site is most level and easily accessible. The training centre is a compact building formed of a flat, two-storey element and a taller four-storey element. The inner structure of the training centre is simple and clear. The vehicle hall has a double ceiling height and forms the centre. Associated spaces such as cloakrooms, storage facilities for breathing apparatus and the materials store are directly connected to the hall on the ground floor and are thus optimally accessible. The training area is located on the first storey, which offers visual connections to the vehicle hall.

The taller, tower-like building section was originally conceived in reference to classic fire stations with hose towers; sleeping accommodation is on the second and third storeys of this section. On the fourth storey – the most attractive part of the building, with its view over the training ground and the landscape – is the large canteen.

This layout judiciously allows a simple division between ‘private’ and ‘public’ usage. The project was designed with the goal of a clear supporting structure and is marked by a large flush façade with large window apertures, culminating above with a striking sawtooth roof that also includes window openings. All the visible load-bearing elements form an interplay of ‘line’ and ‘curve’ elements. The sawtooth roof, a well-known architectural element for roofing larger halls and bringing in northern light, is carefully and expediently implemented. Spanning the column-free vehicle hall, it is architecturally dramatic and also lets daylight penetrate deep into the hall and the training rooms.

Project Data


  • Lukas Raeber
  • Patrick Reuter

Structural Engineer

  • Schnetzer Puskas, Mark Eitel

Key Figures

  • Site: Bernhardzell, St. Gallen
  • Client: Gebäudeversicherung Kanton St. Gallen
  • Type of use: Training center / Fire station
  • Floor area: 2`130 m2
  • Volume: 24`700 m3
  • Construction cost: 18 Mio CHF
Eine helle Halle bildet das Zentrum der Anlage