Tagesschule Fähre

Meilen, Switzerland
1st prize, 2023

Sollanelas Van Noten Meister has won first prize in an invited competition for a new school building in Meilen. The project includes the extension and gentle transformation of Tagesschule Fähre, currently located in a 1920s listed building on Bahnhofstrasse and originally built as a bank. The new extension will serve approximately 30 pupils with special learning and behavioral needs, and includes four classrooms, a multifunctional room, and office spaces for teachers.

The former bank building in 1926

The Bahnhofstrasse, protected as a district conservation zone, is characterized by its solitary residential buildings and distinct roof shapes. The asymmetrical roof shape of the new school building respectfully responds to the neighboring volumes while giving a contemporary character to the new school. The new roof responds to the three-story neighboring building to the north and visually connects to the two-story existing school. Despite its subtle contextual references, the new building stands with pride in the protected streetscape.

The roof mediates between the adjacent structures

Organized over four floors, the new building includes a multifunctional room on the ground floor, three classrooms and a group therapy room on the first and second floors, and teachers' offices on the upper floor. The serving functions, such as bathrooms, cloakroom, and vertical circulation, are compactly arranged along the north façade, allowing the classrooms and group rooms to have an optimal orientation and direct relation to the garden and the street.

View of the teachers' spaces on the top floor

The transformation of the protected existing school building aims to preserve as much as possible the original qualities. Only a few targeted interventions will be made, and the internal spatial organization will remain unchanged. However, new connections between rooms are proposed to offer more flexibility in the plan. The existing north-facing windows will be converted into doors, connecting the ground floor to the garden and creating a direct connection to the multifunctional room in the new building.

Location: Meilen, Switzerland
Year: 2023
Type: school, refurbishment
Client: Tagesschule Fähre
Collaboration: SKALA - Landschaft, Stadt, Raum