Stettbach School, Secondary School, Esther + Rudolf Guyer, Zurich, 1964-1967,© Karin Bürki/Heartbrut, Swiss Brutalism. Explore more on Heartbrut.com

Stettbach School

Words & Photography: Karin Bürki

Words & Photography: Karin Bürki

Classe Corbusier

Situated in a generous and neatly manicured, sloping park landscape, Stettbach Secondary School is accessed via a monumental flight of stairs from the busy Dübendorfstrasse. It comprises a main school building and a further building housing a sports hall and an indoor swimming pool. A covered passage leads to the main entrance and the schoolyard. While the exterior is in béton brut, the interior is dominated by exposed brickwork. Throughout the complex, concrete art interventions by Eva Pauli in bold orange, blue, green and purple break up the sacral-ascetic vibe, presumably much to the relief of the schoolkids who came of age in the late sixties.

For the young architects Esther and Rudolf Guyer, Stettbach was their first win in a school competition. More importantly, it was a great opportunity for them to deepen their love of Le Corbusier. The Guyers essentially packed his design for La Tourette Monastery into their suitcase and adapted it for the Schwamendingen district on the outskirts of Zurich.
Stettbach launched the Guyers’ career, which in their brutalist phase included schools, army barracks and church buildings throughout Switzerland. Although their secondary school is essentially textbook Corbusier, the architects’ own design sensibilities are already evident: site-specific solutions, ascetic aesthetics, material restraint – and a penchat for chandelier street lamps and futuristic orange. Seven years later, the Guyers would go full-on 70’s psychedelic with their design for Gewerbeschule Zurich.
Stettbach School, Secondary School, Esther + Rudolf Guyer, Zurich, 1964-1967,© Karin Bürki/Heartbrut, Swiss Brutalism. Explore more on Heartbrut.com

© Karin Bürki/Heartbrut

© Karin Bürki/Heartbrut

Hardau, Zurich, 1978, Brutalism, © Karin Bürki. Explore more on Heartbrut.com
St Anthony's Church, Antoniuskirche, Karl Moser, Basel, © Karin Bürki/Heartbrut. Explore more on Heartbrut.com
Haus Vogelbacher, Pierre Zoelly, Stampa, Bregaglia, Canton of Grisons. Swiss brutalism, Schweizer Brutalismus, brutalisme suisse. Explore on Heartbrut.com
Brunnadern, Residential Buildings, Atelier 5, Bern 1970, Brutalism © HEARTBRUT / Karin Bürki

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