Büel B schoolhouse, Unterengstringen

Büel B, Unterengstringen, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

At the start of the 1970s Wilhelm und Eugen O. Fischer won a competition for the extension of Büel school complex in Unterengstringen. Originally several building phases were planned, but only one could be realised. As an architectural and socio-historical witness to its era, this sculptural building was included in the cantonal inventory of monuments worthy of preservation.

Thanks to its position on the south slope of Altberg, the proximity to the city of Zurich, and the good transportation connections Unterengstringen is seen as a privileged residential district. The two wooded areas on Gubrist and in Hard are popular recreational areas which, together with the green belt used for agriculture and the lands owned by Fahr monastery, form a compact recreation zone extending along the River Limmat.

Büel school complex was developed in several stages. The building Büel A was erected at the start of the 1950s in the national “Landi” style to plans by Hans von Meyenburg and was extended around ten years later. In 1974 Wilhelm Fischer and his son Eugen O. Fischer won the competition to design the building Büel B. Originally it was planned to build three classroom wings along with a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool – but in the end only the first phase was realised, which consisted of four classrooms, a teachers’ room, meeting and group rooms. On the upper floor a provisional local council chamber was made by combining four rooms.

The schoolhouse Büel B has been included in the canton’s monument preservation inventory. With its stepped form, which was borrowed from the field of housing, and facade of sandblasted concrete coloured reddish brown, which is typical of its time, it is regarded as an architectural and socio-historical witness to school construction in the Limmattal.

Büelstrasse 15, 8103 Unterengstringen, Switzerland
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Task Extension to a school complex
Job type Competition, open procedure
Mention 1st prize
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 1974
Challenge Extending an existing school, making a courtyard, dealing with the topography