The New School in Allmend forms the urban core of the new district of Zurich-Manegg. The school is conceived as a loft building that is flooded with light. As a creative learning workshop, it follows on from the district’s industrial heritage and gives it a fresh interpretation. The open spatial structure is a response to continually changing ideas about teaching and learning.
A central boulevard provides clear access to the classrooms and department rooms and at the same time serves as an extension of the teaching area. The centre of the new school is formed by a podium storey where the refectory, music room and multipurpose hall are located. The podium storey can become a regular piazza for the school’s community of students, teachers and parents for project days, events, or festivities. It is also accessed via a direct entrance from the footbridge, which is linked to the school as a symbolic, colourful steel structure, creating an urban configuration. The interior divisions are made as transparent as possible and create an atmosphere of communication and openness while nevertheless remaining robust.
The façade features a band of sturdy, openable wooden windows with parapet cladding of glass fibre-cement panels. Large The façades have large insets that give them an additional architectural force, not unlike the effect of a colossal order in classical architecture. These symbolic insets emphatically underline the importance of Manegg School as the most important public building in the new district.