2020, Bombach nursery school, Zurich

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I don't want to go home, mom.
Bombach nursery school, Zurich, Switzerland, 2019

Called by its residents "the village in the city", Bombach Estate had been completed and was already inhabited. Only the offices in the building alongside the square were still vacant. Here, two nursery schools with after-school care provided by the city of Zurich were planned. But how could one transform this exposed location, so close to a traffic junction, into a place suitable for children? Moreover, the spatial layout entails certain conditions – originally planned for a doctor's practice. The solution is: colour, light, material – and the art of architectural improvisation!

Bombach nursery school, floor plan layout
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Modell 2

As the extension is planned for a limited period of time, we decided to forego elaborate ceiling panelling. The direct rawness of the rooms was left intact. The room-dividing walls were constructed with marine box plywood ("tigerwood", as the children call it) with integrated furniture and wardrobe niches. The timber creates a cozy atmosphere and emphasises the provisional character.

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Bombach nursery school, joinery detail

The artist Peter Roesch hand-painted the long concrete wall with a golden fairy-tale creature that meanders through the hallway inviting the children to reach out and touch it. Coloured glass brings light into the corridor and creates a lively spectacle of colours on the concrete wall depending on the time of day. Mirrors visually extend the room  and, together with the painted seating niches, colourful pillars and Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, create a magical atmosphere, making it easy to ignore the noise of the traffic outside.

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Gold Schlange
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Bombach nursery school, joinery detail
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Bombach nursery school, joinery detail
190820 BHK Muster einfach

At dusk, the nursery school illuminates the square with its coloured light revealing the cheerful children's world within the large building .

IMG 0583 entzerrrt

28a Frankentalerstrasse, 8049 Zurich, Switzerland

Planning and completion 2018–2019

Building Department of the City of Zurich 

Spatial programme
Nursery school


Michael Geschwentner

Project team
Simone Liner (project management), Florian Hoch (construction site management), Peter Roesch (colour concept/colour design), Natalie Bachmann, Valton Rexha