Penzel, Christian
May 2007
werk, bauen + wohnen;May2007, Issue 5, p28
Trade Publication
Extension to Falletsche School Complex in Zürich-Leimbach by Rolf Mühlethaler Architect Rolf Mühlethaler from Berne has extended the existing complex by adding a secondary school building, a library, a multipurpose hall and a double gymnasium. In conjunction with the existing buildings the new volumes surround the school complex on three sides and thus define an elongated inner area in the form of a generously dimensioned terraced garden that forms the starting point for the design. The classroom wing adjusts to the scale of the surroundings and the geometric situation by making folds. The other parts of the programme do not appear as buildings in the classical sense but are interpreted more as a part of the topographical development. In the interior of the building the insertion in the ground is translated into a corridor that is placed on different sides from floor to floor. This alternating circulation has a strong effect on the use, the orientation of the spaces and the internal structure. The classrooms are laid out at right angles to the external walls, through the staggering from floor to floor intersections are created at the connnecting circulation spaces. In the exterior a strongly rhythmical stucture of vertical strips made of highly precise concrete elements structures the volume, thus creating a severe expression. The exception here is formed by the two-storey projection at the end of the row of buildings: it becomes a symbol of the overlapping of the visible part of the building above ground with the underground volumes concealed in the slope. Both in the facade as well as in the spatial construction the metamorphosis from a simple right-angled geometry to a complex adaptor piece with acute angles becomes tangible and thus the process of adaptation is constantly legible and present.


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