KEVIN & Stella

“Tomorrow’s school will be both more public and more private than yesterday’s school.” This basic thesis was followed by the design team led by Esch Sintzel Architekten in developing the winning project KEVIN in the competition “School complex Sirius and Werkhof Hochstrasse in Zurich-Fluntern”. The demanding program had it all! The task was to combine school space for 12 primary school classes in day school operation, four kindergartens, a canteen with childcare infrastructure, a double sports hall, a music school, a work yard and a tennis club in the new building and to supplement it with generous outdoor spaces, well integrated into the townscape worthy of protection.

The KEVIN design envisages a four-storey building above ground with projecting and receding façade sections, which takes up the scale of the surrounding buildings. The various uses are cleverly distributed throughout the staggered volume in keeping with the aspirations of a “school of tomorrow” – from the underground double sports hall to the partially public uses on the ground and second floors to the school room clusters above. “The thoughtful design demonstrates a broad engagement of content at all levels … At the same time, the result is an inviting school building that convincingly meets the diverse needs of work yard, club, up to the child in group. From the restrictions and complex program requirements, the project succeeds in an impressive synthesis.” the jury confirms the successful approach.

The diversity of the stacked uses with their specific requirements for loads and spans also posed major challenges for the structural designers from Lüchinger+Meyer. The supporting structure was developed with the aim of achieving the most continuous, efficient load transfer possible while at the same time maintaining a high degree of flexibility with regard to subsequent adaptations. The structure is generally built in solid construction. All ceilings of the school, the 2nd basement and the gymnasium as well as all columns are constructed in prefabricated concrete. The efficient column grid of the above-ground floors is continued in the 1st basement floor. This floor locally transfers individual columns of the upper floors via wall plates to the further grid of the Werkhof hall on the 2nd basement level which is needed due to its use. The ceiling system of the school consists of prefabricated ribbed slabs (π-slabs) because they are the most economical for spans of almost 8m. The CO2 equivalent of these slim ceilings is equivalent to that of a composite wood-concrete ceiling. The ribbed slab rests on prefabricated beams supported by columns or wall plates.

A second place for the project “Stella” of the team around Blättler Dafflon Architects, which was also supported by Lüchinger+Meyer in the field of structural design, rounds off the fabulous competition result.

All competition designs can be viewed from September 4 to 13, 2023 in the Pavillon exhibition space at Morgartenstrasse 40, 8004 Zurich. (Mon-Fri 16h-20h; Sat/Sun 14h-18h).

Visualizations: indievisual AG, Zurich (KEVIN), Visualizations: Filippo Bolognese Images, I-Milano (Stella).