The Neue Schule Zürich, atop a hill on Stapferstrasse in Zurich’s Oberstrass district, is a late-classical ensemble consisting of a main building and a carriage house, both built in 1855 as an apartment building and now protected due to its historical status. Its underground vaults retain its former function as an older residential structure equipped with a winepress, dating back to the 17th century. Since 1943, the main building and carriage house have housed the Neue Schule Zürich. Responding to contemporary educational needs, additional classrooms and group spaces were built into the basement around the historical building, redefining the original structure.
Correspondingly, a plinth frames and encloses the older building, accessible through an extension of the existing staircase, as well as through a garden entry. The original connection linking the carriage house to the auditorium has been reopened through the historical, vaulted corridor, revealing its preserved stone framework and elevating the assembly hall as the focal point. Precisely placed openings in the historic outer wall create an intricate interplay between the auditorium and its subterranean extension. Classrooms, amorphously curved, are juxtaposed between communal rooms and private offices. A landscaped garden flourishes above this newly updated space on the roof of the new building.
Through this intervention, the main building, the ancillary building, and the new basement are merged into one unit, while at the same time, the independent expression of the individual parts is strengthened.