Competition entry for the new multifunctional Blatten school building in Männedorf ZH, 2023 (4th place)
The placement of two building volumes creates various attractive outdoor spaces, each of which responds to the context and the different functional requirements. From the school grounds, the new building appears as an ensemble of two pavilion-like timber structures. These are arranged around a shared courtyard. The covered entrance area of the after-school care centre is clearly recognisable as the inviting main address. The adjacent building for the childcare offices is positioned to the side. On the Alte Landstrasse, the building has a self-evident presence. Both volumetrically and thanks to the gabled roof aligned in parallel to the street, it blends in well with the informal streetscape.
The main access to the day care centre is from Kirchweg through the communal garden. The arrangement of the vertical circulation system in the childcare office building ensures barrier-free access to all floors. The elevator, which runs through all floors, is also used to transport goods and crockery from the kitchen on the first floor to all main and group rooms. A secondary, somewhat subordinate entrance on the south-east façade serves as an additional address on Alte Landstrasse. The existing ramp to the new underground car park provides access for motorised traffic as well as deliveries and collections. Bicycle and container parking spaces are also provided here. Additional uncovered bicycle parking spaces are available on Kirchweg. The delivery area in front of the building on Alte Landstrasse provides an uncomplicated opportunity for short-term loading and unloading directly in front of the entrance. The access areas inside are also designed to be used by the children. The various outdoor areas such as the communal garden, the play area and the playground in front of the after-school care centre are available to all users of the school complex.
Two main rooms of the after-school centre are located directly by the entrance area. The wooden supporting structure is visible here and the overheight space under the gable roof gives the rooms a spacious feel. Children and staff access the lower main and group rooms via the open staircase in the entrance area. These are orientated towards Alte Landstrasse and are well lit. The circulation areas also have a high amenity value. All ancillary rooms are located in the part of the building facing the slope. The kitchen there is lit from the south-east. An outdoor seating area for the kitchen staff is also located here. The exit on the north-west side on the first floor leads directly to the play area next to the childcare offices.
Retreat and work rooms are available for employees in the adjacent building. They can be reached quickly from all rooms thanks to the continuous vertical access (elevator and stairs). The lounge and meeting room is located at ground level directly by the entrance. It has an attractive connection to the garden. Three spacious offices with panoramic views are available on the upper floor. They are ideally lit with daylight and suitable for concentrated work.
Between the two new building volumes there is a distinctly shaped courtyard for gathering, activity and circulation. It features a small fountain basin and a shiny paving inlay as an invitation to play. From Kirchweg, the buildings and the courtyard can be reached via a curved stepped or a more sweeping, barrier-free path. The path figure is accompanied by playfully placed fruit trees, which also form a discreet gate situation on Kirchweg. Near the courtyard, a number of seating steps emerge from the stairway on the slope, which can be used both as outdoor classrooms and for free play. Towards the west, a playscape is integrated into the steep slope, which can be accessed from the upper path, the courtyard and the childcare rooms. The playground equipment, such as a climbing frame and slope slide, is arranged among a variety of shrubs and trees.
The garden plot is being completely redesigned in terms of its appearance and function. The entire area will be structured in several units, which can be rented individually. A partial use as a school garden is also possible. A small garden shed on the western edge of the slope is available to the garden community for organisation and socialising. The garden is screened off from the Kirchweg by a heterogeneous wild hedge. The wild hedge as well as the fruit trees in the centre of the garden can be harvested together.
The materialisation of the façades takes up the traditional context of the central village zone and continues it in a contemporary form. The plastered plinth ensures a functional wall-terrain connection, while the façade on the upper floors is clad with vertical, light-coloured tinted timber cladding. This ensures a continuously well-insulated building envelope with very few structural thermal bridges. Both wall structures are durable, robust and 'good-natured' in terms of building physics. The layers and functions of the façade are kept separate. The load-bearing structure in concrete and wood, which is visible in the rooms, facilitates later conversions and gives the rooms a distinctive character. Ecologically sound building materials are used as a matter of principle. The triple-glazed wooden windows can be opened to allow room-specific ventilation. Where necessary, fall protection is fitted to the outside of the window niches. The regular arrangement of window openings ensures an optimal utilisation of daylight. Summer heat insulation is provided by external, retractable fabric blinds. The roof windows of the two main rooms on the first floor are fitted with solar protection glass and can also be shaded if required.
Multifunctional Blatten school building Status: Competition entry (4th place). Programme: New multifunctional school building Blatten. Location: Männedorf (ZH). Schedule: Competition 2023, Organizing body: Municipality of Männedorf. Landscape architecture: atelier tp. Structural engineering: Aschwanden & Partner AG. Collaborators: Michael Wagner, Raphael Vanzella, Jil Kugler, Sophia Disiou.