Inter-Community School Volketswil

The Inter-Community School has a highly developed concept of the cohesion of students and teachers. The extensive and very heterogeneous programme of a highly developed secondary school with students of different ages would have offered some cause to dissolve the programme into different wings. In order to strengthen the community aspect, we decided to house all students in an overall structure, a single building. Almost in the way of a faltering fire, we sculpturally dissolved the programme into individual wings and piled them one upon the other around a large interior space.

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 The various classes were combined on the floors in clusters of class units. which had generously dimensioned, plaza-type common rooms with a narrowly defined reference to the outside. The vertical end of the entire complex is formed by the only genuine “space log” in the form of half-timber structures spanning the large schoolyard and encloses the library as a common function. To create this order, we developed a strict system of paths to guarantee a synoptic approach. We assumed that the structure would allow us to provide each part – the library, the classrooms, the sciences – with their own spatial subidentity, whose interplay would turn the school into a teaching topography. Statically, the system was quite demanding of course and only to be saved from utter chaos by integrating the volumes as bridge constructions into the support structure. The ICS design thus fit into the not insignificant tradition of a school as a social organism, whose spatial organization ultimately reflects the community of students and teachers.

Location: Volketswil

Competition: 2011

Client: ICS Inter-Community School Zurich

Meili, Peter Architekten: Marcel Meili, Markus Peter

Susann Kintat, Andre Battesti

situation plan

ground plan first floor

ground plan second floor

ground plan third floor

cross section, longitudinal section

west façade and south façade

cross section of the façade