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This innovative radical project for a school building by Christian Kerez concentrates all the functional uses in one massively powerful volume and the gym halls are packed onto the roof. The new park addresses the local history, by reusing existing elements.


Thus, the pebbly subsoil of the former reed bed is used with humus to yield substrates with varying nutrient content. The targeted distribution of these mixtures will unobtrusively guide the emergence of spontaneous vegetation in the various parking areas (the same seed is used, excepting the grass playground). In a similar vein, further usages are anticipated – such as low-staining soil for the transitions to the hard court. Only the peripheral path system is created. The park furniture is placed randomly. Over time, impromptu trails, formed by use, will come to define use.


Prior to the start of the first construction work, the white willows of the original semi-natural reed forest have been cut to a height of 3 m and placed in a temporary transplantation. Together with rejects from a tree nursery, they will be planted anew in the new park in picturesque groups of trees. They are partially pruned. The genotype of the willows from the tree nursery differs in the orange colour of the underside of the leaves from the silver willows. The procedure is similar for the perennial plants from the former allotment gardens. Newly planted in the meadows, Jerusalem artichokes, leaf lettuce and other vegetables are reminiscent of earlier times.


Thanks to the transparency of the vegetation and technical features, the city, district and railway remain present in the distant space.

This strategy has been developed for:

Schulanlage Leutschenbach

Location: Zürich, CH

Year: 2009

Architecture: Christan Kerez, Zürich

Art piece: Olivier Mosset, Arizona, USA

Lansdscape architecture: Maurus Schifferli, Bern

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