dgj002 Three Schools in Volketswil, Volketswil, CH , 2000

Project for three Schools in Volketswil, CH. Study commission in consecutive competition


Project for three Schools in Volketswil, CH.

Study commission in consecutive competition.

Generating Forms [urban strategy]

The three buildings give each of the three schools an own identity without losing their structural integrity. Therefore, a common generating principal structures the complex. The three parts emerge in a process similar to that of organic growth. The classrooms form a protective layer or strip, enveloping the cultural space in the form of a spiral. Individual views and lighting conditions characterize each of the spaces. The architectural form emerges in a continuous process of differentiation and mediation between external factors and internal forces.


The volumes of the three schools define clear outside spaces: a birch grove to the north, a football pitch to the east, and a court with paving to the west.


Zones of Differentiation [central cultural space]

The central cultural space has been built in the form of a ramp that spirals upwards. It concentrates social and individual, and physical and mental activities.

In the horizontal condition, movements and exchange are limited. A tilted plane creates dynamics from gravity. The formulation of the cultural space as a circulation ramp provokes movements, activity, and different forms of communication: verbal and non-verbal intercourse in small and larger groups. The central cultural space becomes a stage set for the individual to define and experience his or her identity as part of the community. The ramp varies in its width, forming spaces for circulation and temporary occupation.

A high level of identification is based on the specific form and orientation of the cultural spaces. Each of the atrium is oriented to one of the landscape spaces outside.

project period July 05 1999 - Feb 01 2000
useSchool, Education
address In der Höh 9 , Volketswil
floor area 11,000 m²
building volume 42,000 m³
budget 33.0 Mio. CHF
rank 2.
commissioner School Administration Volketswil
project status: Awarded Competition Entry