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School gymnasium extension in Wettingen, Switzerland by :mlzd

School-gym-extension-wettingen-mlzd-typology-architectural-review

This new gym extension joins a series of subterranean facilities from the ’70s, preserving the surrounding Swiss landscape

In recent years, an enormous amount of money has been poured into Swiss schools, with some impressive results. While these are generally subtly designed, there are exceptions – such as the towering and somewhat flashy school at Leutschenbach by Christian Kerez, with its double-height, panoramic top-floor gym. Taking a diametrically opposed approach is a more recent gym by architects :mlzd at a school based in a historic monastery in Wettingen. At the time of the building’s conversion in 1979, the new swimming pool and sports hall were constructed underground to preserve the appearance of the original structure. The recent gym extension joins these subterranean facilities, into which daylight enters freely via windows lining the sunken passageway through which students access the building. The architects have given character to this potentially drab corridor by articulating its other wall with a complex planar play of varyingly profiled concrete blocks.

School-gym-extension-wettingen-mlzd-typology-architectural-review

School-gym-extension-wettingen-mlzd-typology-architectural-review

Source: Ariel Huber photography

School gymnasium extension wettingen switzerland mlzd

School gymnasium extension wettingen switzerland mlzd

Click to download

Ths case study is part of Typology: Gymnasium, featured in the AR March 2020 issue on Masculinities + W Awards – click here to read the full article, and here to buy your copy of the issue today