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The Department of Building Construction for the city of Zurich planned the conversion of former workers’ living quarters into a kindergarten with daycare services for the Manegg school. The client made the choice for reused building components in order to reduce gray greenhouse gas emissions in line with the city’s net zero target for 2035. As a result, Zirkular was awarded a specialist planning contract for reuse.

Together with the architects of Bischof Föhn, a wide range of reused elements was specified. The goal was to incorporate as many reuse components as possible in the interior and exterior spaces and to utilize existing elements from the former living spaces, such as refurbished sinks and toilets. Wherever possible, the furniture and appliances were taken from second-hand stock held by Immobilien Stadt Zürich – Real Estate Management for the City of Zurich. In addition, the “component hunt” conducted by Zirkular significantly expanded the catalog of reusable components. For example, the fire doors from the Lavater school building were installed 1:1. In some cases, however, components were also reused in unusual ways: What used to be a steel pergola for a shopping cart depot for a major distributor is now used on the first floor of the Kindergarten as a climbing aid for plants and for fastening sunshade sails. Overall, the measures saved around 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conversion with newly manufactured components.


year of completion:
project team:
Pascal Hentschel, Laia Meier, Andreas Oefner, Basil Rudolf
component hunting:
Rebecca Brandmayer, Laia Meier
City of Zürich, Department of Building Construction
Bischof Föhn Architekten
Theodor Stalder