Large warehouses and the busy thoroughfare Leimbachstrasse over the Sihl to the north and east, and the atmospheric topography of cooperative row houses and gardens at the foot of the Uetliberg to the south and west make for a heterogeneous context. The project reacts to the duality of this situation: the angled form of the cooperative housing development creates a quiet courtyard facing west that borders on existing green spaces. A passageway in the northeastern corner of the L-shaped plan provides the residents with a direct connection to the bridge and regional trains and links the housing development to the Sihl area and the neighborhood.
A total of fifty-seven apartments ranging from 2- to 5.5-room layouts over one or two stories show typologies matched to their respective position: along the river Sihl, there are single-story apartments with deep floor plans and spacious river-facing living room/kitchen combinations that extend diagonally into the living spaces facing the courtyard. The Leimbachstrasse side accommodates maisonette apartments with rooms looking out towards the courtyard. They can be accessed from the street via glazed balcony walkways that effectively mitigate the noise.
The enveloping facade bands serve to unite the various floor plan typologies and the highly diverse exterior spaces. Slabs of light-colored travertine clad the continuous parapets. Through the vertical rhythm of the stone plates, the characteristic surface of the travertine resembles a kind of tree bark as it can often be found in the river surroundings. The choice of stone was inspired by Otto Senn’s “Zossen” park housing estate in Basel, which dates from the 1930s: at once coarse and fine, the stone lends the building an atmospheric presence. The facade is both easy to maintain and sustainable; and its insensitivity to the dust emissions from Leimbachstrasse is a decisive factor. In contrast to the closed facade along the busy thoroughfare, the courtyard side with its continuous balconies, enjoying all-day sunshine, has an almost Mediterranean, open flair.
|Client/Organizer:||Genossenschaft Hofgarten, Zurich|
|Year:||2003 - 2007|
|Mode:||Project competition selective, 1. Rang|
|Collaborators:||Claudio Schiess, Matthias Brunner, Matthias Amsler, Ivanna Vukoja|
|General contractor:||Karl Steiner AG, Total Services Contractor, Zurich|
|Owners representative:||WohnBauBüro AG, Uster|
|Civil engineer:||Kocher Ingenieurbüro für Hoch- und Tiefbau AG, Bülach|
|Building technology:||PZM Polke Ziege Von Moos AG, Zurich|
|Electrical engineering:||PZM Polke Ziege Von Moos AG, Zurich|
|Acoustic and Building physics:||Wichser Akustik und Bauphysik AG, Zurich|
|Landscape:||Andreas Tremp Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich|
|Picture:||Roger Frei, Zurich / Hannes Henz, Zurich|