Vogtsrain schoolhouse, Zurich

Vogtsrain, Zürich, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The competition entry for a new school building in Zurich Höngg convinced the jury through its balanced outdoor spaces and intelligently organised open areas.

Vogtsrain school complex in the Zurich district of Höngg is derived from a competition held in 1966. The sloping nature of the site presented the twelve architecture offices that took part with a special challenge.

The winning project reacted to this situation with a terraced complex that reflects the spirit of the time. It is based on a three-dimensional interlocking pavilion system that recalls structuralist Dutch models and Expo buildings in Lausanne and is accessed by routes with steps, ramps, and public squares used for school breaks.

Double kindergartens and a school janitor’s apartment form part of the complex and their accessible roofs augment the schoolyards. A large schoolyard at a higher level forms the centre and is spatially defined by the classroom wings on the sloping side of the site and by a building at right angles to it that houses the swimming complex and the day-care centre.

Wooden doors and window shutters modify the hardness of the concrete volumes, for which a rough shuttering was used. The cubic structure ensures a view of the outdoor areas for all the wings of the building and emphasises the advantages of the south-facing slope.

Ferdinand-Hodler-Strasse 23, 8049 Zurich, Switzerland
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Task New primary school building
Job type Competition by invitation
Mention 1st prize
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 1966–1973
Challenge Handling the local context, topography