The return of architectural education to the center of Zürich means a new visibility and new possibilities of exchange with the most complex and rich case study for any architect: the city. Following this idea, the project proposes to transform existing buildings surrounding the site into the school of architecture. By doing so it also gives back more housing to the city in the Kaserne and police buildings. The school, situated on the first floor of each building, becomes the vertical threshold between the ground floor, mainly commercial and public, and the flats above. The different units are brought together by the Avenue. This Avenue is the main continuous circulation connecting all the domestic and intimate spaces of workshops and studios. It is a space of exchange and encounters dilating itself to accommodate critic and exhibition spaces. Additionally, it offers a covered space for the city underneath and terraces for the housing above allowing them to be the witnesses and actors of the precious central void.
By its implantation the school emphasizes on the peculiar character of Kasernenareal. Indeed this particular plot of Zürich has always been the space of freedom, expression, wishes and dreams, yet nothing permanent has ever happened to it since its construction. Therefore the school works also as a clear horizontal threshold allowing another world to exist independently from the rest of the city. Its central void is articulated by six distinct objects who are crossing path on this site. It is a world of imagination and fantasy, a playful arena of experimentation where the struggles of the architecture student can find an expression.
The conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.
It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others.
Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
For, you see, so many things had happened lately that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.
Le blanc est la couleur des enfants qui meurent.
Every morning she stood before it, looked at herself, and said: « Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all? ».
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
The moment you doubt wether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.
J. M. Barrie