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Breaking Ground for Groundbreaking Assembly and Dining spaces

Breaking Ground for Groundbreaking Assembly and Dining spaces
Breaking Ground for Groundbreaking Assembly and Dining spaces

Aiglon breaks ground on orchard site assembly and dining project.

On Monday, while the sun was still shining, we jubilantly broke ground on our orchard site assembly and dining project - a key element of our Campus Masterplan. Our School Director, Nicola Sparrow, our COO/ CFO, Patricia Bremner Gadotti, our Deputy Directors, Tom Duckling and Chris Chalcraft and our student Guardians Chloe and Alexander participated in the ceremony with hard hats and spades in Aiglon colours.

The idea for an innovative assembly and dining space has long been on the horizon and is now finally coming to fruition. Aiglon purchased the orchard site in 1985 with donated funds. Since then we have appreciated the special trees at the centre of our campus, framing the mountain views so attractively. While these trees had to be removed to allow for the construction, new fruit trees will be planted during landscaping and the uninterrupted views will be preserved and framed by the new assembly and dining building design.

Once again here we are able to encapsulate the chalets-on-the-hill vision in the design of what will be Aiglon’s most ambitious construction to date. Faithful to their surroundings, two chalet-type houses will be connected by a courtyard - acting as a place to encourage meeting. The future space will enable the gathering together of students, staff and teachers in one place and strengthen the community feel that lives at the heart of our educational approach.

Campus Masterplan advising architect Camilla Finlay from London practice Acanthus Clews, who has worked with Aiglon for already a decade and is closely attuned to Aiglon’s principles, has highlighted that the “project is grounded in long-term sustainability” and that Aiglon strives to provide value for each individual student: “There are no corners, no child that quality doesn’t reach”. This will be evident in the experience conveyed by the building. 

Aiglon’s Director of Operations, Andy Croft has expressed that each element of our Masterplan is “thought through and regularly interrogated by a wide range of stakeholders […] Aiglon’s guiding principles aren’t a poster on a wall; we live them every day, through meditations, gatherings, learning, social activities - and in our Masterplan.” A wide range of perspectives, via a whole school survey, for example, has been sought in the conception of this latest project and the input of students is especially vital and invaluable. 

Furthermore, as stressed by Andy, “every project must be sustainable, improve connectivity and be Masterplan relevant. That gives us the rigour to enhance the Aiglon experience.” The mostly timber-framed, insulated structure will meet Swiss Minergie standards. It will be heated with a green timber pellet system, which will have the capacity to provide energy to surrounding buildings. There will be a solar panel roof and the project seeks to contribute to our broader aim to reduce Aiglon’s energy consumption by over 10% by 2029.

Thus in considering both form and function and reaching a balance in the final design, we are convinced the environment created will positively impact the landscape, capture natural energy and light, be conducive to meditation, optimise life on campus and promote overall well-being. 

Construction led by local architects CP3 is scheduled to begin next month so that this apple of our eye is complete for the 2025-26 school year.

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