Timber High-rise "PI", Zug , 2019, 1st prize

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © WaltGalmarini AG

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © Filippo Bolognese

We propose a tower without a plinth, so that as much space as possible can be freed up for public space in the densely built-up area. The tower is staggered upwards in four segments. The lowest edge makes important horizontal references to the neighbouring development. The inner logic of the high-rise building is based on the idea of a vertical neighbourhood. For this purpose, three storeys each are merged via a central, open centre. This piazza is the arrival point, distribution space and gateway to the apartments. A total of 10 neighbourhoods with about 22 residential units each are created. Resident profiles with similar needs are grouped together. The variety of apartment typologies is only made possible by the innovative structural concept and the consistent separation of primary and secondary structures. Two tubes inserted into each other are designed as load-bearing elements. The “tube-in-tube principle” of the famous steel frame constructions from 1950s Chicago is thus translated into a future-oriented construction made of the renewable raw material wood. Bracing is provided by the two interconnected tubes.

Beiersdorf Werk I, Hamburg , 2019, 3rd Prize

  • © Ponnie Images

  • © Ponnie Images

Beiersdorf is restructuring its factory premises in Hamburg-Eimsbüttel to make the company’s headquarters fit for the future, both in terms of architecture and organisation. The concept reverses the current situation of the closed perimeter development: The new residential quarter opens up and interlocks with the adjacent urban network of the Eimsbüttel district. A large square in the centre of the residential area serves both the new residents and the neighbours from the district as a lively, urban meeting point. As an urban counterpart to the Park am Weiher, it creates identity and links the existing with the new. Green paths and differentiated courtyard layouts create a high quality of living. The size and cubature of the new buildings are based on the nearby block structures dating from the Gründerzeit period. The result is a breathing perimeter development, which is formed by the public intermediate space, opens up towards the edges and interlocks with the urban and green spaces. Based on the building type of the Hamburger Burg, the spatial expansions create varied sequences in the public space, provide insights into the depth of the residential blocks and enable good lighting conditions in the apartments.

New Burkwil Building, Meilen , 2019, 1st Prize

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © Filippo Bolognese

  • © Filippo Bolognese

‘Togetherness and coexistence’ – great importance is attached to living together in Burkwil. The centre is the ‘village square’, which is surrounded by the buildings and serves as a sheltered yet open place where people can both meet each other and spend some time: a small cobbled square with a fountain and a bench in the shade of a beech tree. All paths through the quarter converge at the ‘village square’. The houses are accessed centrally via the traffic-calmed ‘village road’ and the shared, semi-private arcades. These connecting arcades separate the public from the private space. Around 100 residential units for up to 180 people of different ages are to be built on the 19,000m² site.

Rempart des moines, Brüssel , 2019

The redevelopment of „Rempart Des Moines“ is a unique opportunity for Bruxelles downtown area to embrace diversity and integrate within the same gesture different city aspects. The main intention of the project is addressed to develop an heterogeneous housing offer, capable to react to the complexity of the context. We choose to produce diversity within the project creating a multitude of situations: from living on the ground floor or at the treetops level, shared gardens or urban „Piazza“, narrow streets and common rooftop terraces. The connection between house scale and city scale plays a crucial rule in the project, those intermediate spaces such as courtyards, streets, terraces and community rooms generate proximity and belonging of people to their neighborhood. The project uses density as the essential quality for urban life. This proximity offers the opportunity to create a place for people establishing contact between neighbors and neighborhood. Main topic of the program is to develop 340 social and affordable apartments, together with various public or common functions: a public Sports Hall, seven Community rooms for the neighborhood inhabitants , a Kindergarden, an Old peoples home.

Areal Rietwisen, Elsau , 2019

On the Areal Rietwisen in Elsau, a socially, ecologically and economically high-quality residential development is to be built for individualised people in different life phases and social classes. The competition for the development of the 2.68 ha site is in progress.

New Replacement building Kalchbühlstrasse, Zürich , 2019

The Wohn- und Siedlungsgenossenschaft Zürich is planning a replacement new building for 55 apartments in Wollishofen on Kalchbühlstrasse on an area of 4,800 m². We have been invited to participate in the competition.

Hilgenfeld, FRANKFURT am Main , 2019, 1st Prize

  • © nightnurse

  • © nightnurse

The residential block on construction field 3 flanks the entrance to the new residential quarter at the Hilgenfeld. This urban situation is accentuated by the increased building height along the main road. The main entrance of the residential building is also located here. A prominent, curved external staircase leads to the distinctive, planted arcades, which provide access to all the apartments. The green, very deep terraces serve both as access areas and private outdoor spaces – a “garden arbour” for the residents. The occupants themselves design and cultivate their “front gardens” so that the various plantings create a colourful façade impression. A system of green trellises and curtains forms the actually visible façade, providing sufficient privacy and, at the same time, solving the solar protection issue. The apartments are accessed as if through a greenhouse. The architecture is only the background, while the façade of the building literally grows through the appropriation by the residents. Therefore, the structural façade can be inexpensive and simple. The floor plans have been optimised so that a circulation area is no longer required. As a result, the apartments, some of which are very small, have well-proportioned and spacious rooms.

Dichtelust, Basel , 2019

  • © Tom Bisig

  • © Tom Bisig

  • © Tom Bisig

  • © Tom Bisig

  • © S AM

In Switzerland, the concept of density has noticeably negative connotations and is often used to provoke fear. Political campaigns with images of old towns overrun by high-rise buildings illustrate an alleged ‘proximity stress’ (Dichtestress) and make balanced discussion impossible. The exhibition ‘Dichtelust – Forms of Urban Coexistence in Switzerland’ refutes these irrational arguments and demonstrates the real meaning of density: the thoughtful and compact utilisation of buildable territory. It examines different forms of historical density and contemporary redensification.

Housing Development Am Lichtenauerweg, Hamburg , 2018, 1st PRIZE

We propose an open and permeable residential development as a strong and at the same time distinctive urban figure. The rows of houses meandering on the north-south axis open up to the north with residential courtyards, while the green courtyards are oriented to the south. This allows a clear view of the landscape from almost every apartment. The new estate is characterised by a gentle height differentiation from the south to the north and adequate densification in the heterogeneous quarter. The three- to four-storey building volumes make reference to the row structures of the existing neighbouring development, but create more clearly defined exterior spaces. A variety of defined open spaces is decisive for a high-quality living environment. They create room for neighbourly communication and maintaining social contacts, but are also intended to provide opportunities for retreat and security. With a versatile sequence of outdoor spaces, our design creates a varied quarter for the new residents.

HOUSING ESTATES OF THE 1950s TO 1970s, Hamburg , 2019

  • © Hamburgisches Architekturarchiv

In the 1950s and 1970s, the Hamburg housing market was under great pressure. It was primarily cooperative housing companies that provided answers to the model of the respective decade, from the structuring concept of the structured and loosened up city of the 1950s to the model of “urbanity through density” of the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The estates of these decades are characterised by a low building density, unsatisfactory open spaces, and a need for modernisation of the existing building stock; from today’s perspective, they call for restructuring and upgrading. The aim of the procedure is to develop approaches and ideas for 14 Hamburg housing estates in close cooperation with the Hamburg housing cooperatives. Experimental and innovative approaches to solutions should be generated that enable discussion and provide transferable starting points in order to generate added value for the city as a whole and to show development options for the quarters dating from these decades.

Petit île, Brussels , 2019

The former industrial quarter near the canal area in Biestebroeck Anderlecht is being developed over the next few years to become a new residential quarter with diverse additional commercial uses. The Petite Ile project comprises a total of around 400 apartments, 13,500 m2 of shops, studios, offices, and two schools.

Swiss Embassy, Addis Ababa , 2018

In the garden landscape that surrounds the building on the embassy grounds the new message is set as a sculptural volume. The building opens up in certain points, allows exciting insights and views, and mediates between the intimate inner courtyard and the garden. The exterior space is clearly laid out (security) and nevertheless creates very different atmospheres for the respective building sides and uses. The compact building volume makes it possible to preserve many of the trees on the site, two are worthy of protection and therefore replanted. Due to the pulpit-like vertical extension, the building is also visible from Jimma Road and sets a striking symbol towards the city. Bringing together various embassy functions in one building directly supports contact between the individual embassy departments. The heart of the building, the green inner courtyard, invites both to focus and to exchange ideas. Meetings are encouraged by the all-round circulation paths and internal stairs. Orientation is easy due to the clear building structure. The embassy’s garden is seen as a kind of showcase for Switzerland’s virtues and interests as well as for its commitment to Ethiopia. It makes statements on the topics of understanding nature, cooperation, and cultural landscape. The climate, which is conducive to horticulture, as well as the obvious expertise of the gardening staff is appreciated.

Buchholzer Grün, Hannover , 2018

The new residential estate “Buchholzer Grün” with its central green space is accessed via street spaces resembling village greens. These are lined with elongated building blocks in which a wide variety of building types and forms of living are developed. Cluster 4 in the southwest comprises a 5-storey apartment building with subsidised housing, a 4-storey building block with condominiums as well as 10 terraced houses on the opposite side of the “village green”. The design idea is based on the development of a common leitmotif for the three buildings. This idea is primarily expressed in the façade design, but it can also be found in the floor plan typologies. The elongated 4-storey building is accessed from the “village green” via three staircases. It is characterised by a very efficient layout with spacious 1.5-3-room condominiums. For the most part, the units are planned as “push-through typologies” oriented towards two sides. Based on a system with uniform axial dimensions, 10 terraced houses are provided in four building units of varying sizes ranging from 100-160 m2 with 3-6 rooms. The efficiently organised interiors of the apartment buildings are enveloped by vivid façades.

Wydäckerring residential development, Zürich , 2018

The new building project is divided into four residential buildings, which together with the future school building enclose a spacious courtyard on the urban site. The clear definition of the four separate building volumes in the urban planning context ensures the desired permeability to the quarter’s green connecting axis, the Triemli footpath, and the other adjoining open spaces. The space-forming element of every apartment is the “Enfilade Room”, a generous linear connecting space that links all areas of an apartment like a spine. Due to the clear positioning of the Enfilade Rooms in the large building volumes, the apartments are oriented towards at least two sides and offer a variety of views. With its orientation, the Enfilade Room emphasises a wide view despite the proximity of the buildings to each other and thus creates added value for the apartments oriented towards the space in-between.

The new Gartenfeld, Berlin , 2017

The underlying design principle is heterogeneity. Based on the diversity of developers, authors, and urban context situations, we look for a common denominator that gives the ensemble a design unity: Diversité dans l’Unité! The focus is not only on the block or building structure, but on the urban interspaces, i.e. streets, alleys, and squares. Across construction sites, individual design rules apply to these “strips”. In this way, their specific characteristics can be strengthened. It is required that the architectural expression of all buildings must relate to the area’s industrial past. The design means can be freely chosen and can be derived from completely different themes, e.g. from materiality, volumetry, construction, physiognomy, or the colour scheme. Each building site must make a contribution to the district, such as day-care centre, plant garden, or workshops.

New Replacement building Lacheren, Schlieren , 2017, 1st prize

The site is located in the Lacheren area on the northern edge of the town Schlieren. The quarter is characterised by two- to three-storey residential buildings. The two replacement buildings with 35 apartments harmoniously integrate into the existing layout of the quarter and the northern development. Due to the positioning in the urban context, almost every apartment has two sides with the greatest possible variety of character: on the one hand, the strongly structured, harder back facing Limmatstrasse, on the other hand, the quiet side facing the courtyard. The spatial structure is geometrically dissolved into free forms by means of wall slabs, while the individual rooms remain rectangular and static. The architectural expression of the building is manifested in the duality of the façades: The street façade is designed as a compact system with continuous strips. The slightly golden shimmering glass stripes create a subtle play with the classic themes of horizontal façade structures. Analogous to the horizontal elements on the north side, the vertical structuring elements are designed as panes coated with golden fleece on the rear. These serve to generate solar energy, but, above all, they are design elements which, depending on the incidence of light, lend the courtyard a different atmosphere at any time of day or year.

Buchegg Estate, Zurich , Since 2011

In 2010, the Waidberg building cooperative decided to demolish the existing 1930s housing estate and to replace it with a new building. A competition procedure was initiated for this purpose. The topographical col Milchbuck - Bucheggplatz is a high-quality residential area with a homogeneous development structure, which is divided by a main traffic axis. Three angular buildings occupy the perimeter with a minimal footprint. The buildings accompany the streetscapes along Hofwiesenstrasse, Rötelstrasse, and Seminarstrasse; typical local building lengths are thus created. At the same time, the houses form a distinctive appearance towards Bucheggplatz. By moving away from the building line, the head building focuses on the centre of Bucheggplatz and already strengthens its presence in its current state. The noise pollution affecting the site becomes a design generator. The development of the façade is minimised, creating an urban street façade towards the noisy outside area. More public spaces such as kitchens, extra-high dining rooms and stairwells enliven the street fronts and form a hard “back” that protects private living areas. The floor plan is twisted to avoid direct views into the apartments opposite and to create a feeling of expanse. Towards the south, the apartments in front of a large, contiguous open space shielded from the noise of the streets open up to the expanse of the city.

Glasi Quarter, Bülach , Since 2013, 1st prize

On the 42,000 m2 site of a former glass factory in Bülach Nord, 550 new apartments will be built for around 1,700 residents between 2018 and 2022, plus 27,000 m2 of commercial space. Altogether, the ensemble comprises 20 mainly 6-storey buildings, including a hotel, a retirement home, a high-rise residential building, a commercial building, and an office building. The high urban density calls for special architectural measures. The overall concept therefore focuses on the meticulous design of the urban outdoor areas. As a point of contact between the buildings, they will determine neighbourly cohesion. The urban planning concept is based on a system of radial streets that are, as with a linocut, cut out from the building mass. At various intersections, squares are created whose character is largely determined by the use of the adjoining ground floor. A lively and intact quarter is based on the balance of diversity and unity. Its unmistakable urban pattern, the “urban fingerprint”, gives the Glasi Quarter a recognisable identity. At the same time, it provides a stable framework for diversity. The special feature of the architectural design is that the individual buildings subordinate themselves to the leitmotif of the overall concept, but at the same time, develop characteristic peculiarities in their individual expression. A wide range of residential typologies opens the Glasi Quarter for different user groups - for young and old, for couples, singles, and families. Special solutions are also available, e.g. for living in old age or large shared flats for patchwork families living together. In addition, a substantial proportion of commercial use is planned. Living and working take place in the immediate vicinity and ensure a healthy mix of different uses.

More than living, Zurich , 2009–2015, 1St Prize

On the Hunziker Areal in Zurich, a total of 450 apartments, shops, restaurants, workshops, artist studios, day nurseries, and a guesthouse are being developed. Our vision is to create a piece of city instead of an estate. Urban density is required where squares, alleys, and green zones determine the qualities of the public space. An exciting sequence of outdoor spaces and public-oriented uses on the ground floor invigorate the quarter. In addition to the wide range of common rooms, individual retreats are also becoming increasingly important. It’s exactly this tension that makes up the special feature of this project: on the one hand, security and privacy and, on the other hand, the wide range of opportunities to be part of the community. On the urban planning level, it is the interplay between development and open space elements such as paths and squares; the counterpart in the apartments is the interaction of common rooms and private areas.

Rüttimann Furniture Factory Area, Siebnen , 2018

Within the scope of a study assignment, proposals for the conversion of the site of the former Rüttimann furniture factory in Siebnen are developed. The buildings on the site were built between 1880 and 1980 and are now vacant. Some of the buildings and the skywalk that crosses the cantonal road today form an ensemble that has a high identity-forming character for the town. Mainly residential use is planned, next to it a smaller part for service and commercial uses.

Walo, Zurich , 2015–2019

  • © Baugeschichtliches Archiv Stadt Zürich

The sculptural building comprises various floor plan typologies for today’s urban residents. The studios share a common patio. The apartments with 2½, 3½, and 4½ rooms are characterised by attractive visual connections across the apartments. The bathrooms are situated along the façade and invite to relax. By including the bays, all apartments are organised around the corner and benefit from a two-sided orientation. The façade of the distinctive building is clearly structured by a horizontal division into base area, standard floors, and attic floors. The generous glazing on the ground floor opens up the building to the surrounding streets and provides ideal conditions for uses close to the public. Balustrade strips of varying heights made of polished, terrazzo-like artificial stone, window frames with anodised metal panels, and fine metal railings cover the building as a braided envelope, lending the façade a high-quality, almost textile look. Due to the spatial depth of the façade and the fine detailing, the impressive building volume nevertheless appears elegant and light and appropriately blends in with the cityscape.

Zukunft Wohnen (Future of Housing), Cologne , Since 2015, 1st prize

In a workshop procedure initiated by the City of Cologne, ideas were sought for urban re-densification and new housing concepts. For our project in the lively district of Cologne-Sülz, we are focusing on four fundamental areas of inner-city re-densification:

Adequate densification. Gentle increase in height through the addition of one full storey and densification inside the block edge development. Instead of FSI and attic regulation, a three-dimensional outline is defined, which determines the maximum building volume.

Revitalisation of the urban space. For the overriding interaction of the block edge and the common scale, the expression has to consider a three-part building structure. Rhythmic design of the street alignments through differentiated openings, materials or colour schemes according to the principle: “same same but different”. The assignment of public uses at the intersection and in the workyard is decisive for the character of the urban locations and is therefore binding.

Activation of the courtyards. Revitalisation of the inner courtyards through differentiated outdoor areas such as the family garden and workyard. User- and location-oriented appropriation through self-organisation and participation for high resident identification, long-term tenancies, low fluctuation, solid neighbourly integration. Identifiable presence of the rear buildings and commercial areas through distinctive courtyard entrances.

Demand-oriented themed houses. Creation of novel, innovative and demand-oriented, not only standardised housing models, as a contemporary response to social developments (family housing, senior citizens’ housing, cluster housing, rentable additional rooms, outbuildings); integration and inclusion of groups with special needs such as single parents, senior citizens, etc.

Student Hostel, Basel , 2013–2019

  • © Damian Poffet

  • © Damian Poffet

  • © Damian Poffet

  • © Damian Poffet

  • © Damian Poffet

In the north-east of Basel, on the site formerly used as a freight station, the Erlenmatt Quarter is being built, a lively district providing a high residential quality for all strata of the population. A multifaceted coexistence and community of lifestyles and neighbourhoods, complemented by public, social, and commercial uses. The buildings and facilities on the site are planned, built, operated, and renewed in a resource-saving manner.

The new building adjoins the silo building constructed by architect Rudolf Sandreuter in 1912 to the south and joins the row of buildings along Signalstrasse. Based on the feasibility study decided in 2013, a student residence for 99 inhabitants with commercial use on the ground floor is to be built here. The hostel is operated by the Association for Student Housing (WoVe), which provides students with functional and inexpensive accommodation. In the future, students will live in 16 shared flats with 4 to 7 residents each. In addition, 3 separately accessible 1.5-room gallery apartments are offered.

The flats are grouped in two wings around the common heart of the complex, a semi-public courtyard on the first floor. This can be reached via a staircase from a public passageway running straight through the building. The unroofed courtyard is 7.80 m wide and over 50 m long. The apartments are accessed via an open staircase, arcades and footbridges that span the courtyard. In front of the entrances to the apartments and eat-in kitchens, the circulation area is expanded into a lounge area. The use of these open spaces enlivens the courtyard and makes it a place of encounter and communication.

Limmatfeld, Dietikon , 2013–2019

The guidelines of the master plan demand strong, traditional urban planning references, while the intended uses rather require identity and independence. Eleven semi-public courtyards and distinctive streets penetrate the Limmatfeld, while at the same time the residents’ need for individual retreats must be taken into account. The project reacts to this starting situation by arranging the five buildings of the BEP cooperative around a maximum sized shared courtyard. Without causing a hard break, the public “outside” is juxtaposed with a semi-public “inside”.

Power Architecture, Matosinhos , 2018

The opening exhibition of Casa da Arquitectura in Matosinhos, Portugal presents 40 projects from all over the world under the title of ‘Power Architecture’, including our Cluster House A for the ‘More than Living’ project.

Vazios construídos, Bahia , 2017

Our project More than Living is presented in the context of the “Exposição Vazios Construídos” exhibition at the Université Fédérale de Bahia, Brésil. The organisation of this exhibition is part of the “Vides Construits” recycling project, which was developed together with the Lugar Comun research group of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. The exhibition focuses on the urban space of the traditional commercial and industrial centre of Salvador, which since the second half of the 20th century has undergone the process of losing its original functions and being depleted and has lost much of its quality. The organisation highlights the need to think about intervention strategies for the vacant sites which consider not only the physical but also the socio-ecological context in which they are used. Furthermore, several national and international references are presented, which are characterised by the definition of social interest, participatory processes, and democratic management. The exhibition takes place in one of the empty spaces mapped by the research, so that the content of the exhibition and its presence in an abandoned space contribute to its problematisation and redefinition.

Roselius-Allee residential quarter, Bremen , Since 2016, 1st prize

The main objective of the design is to give the entire area an identity-building spatial centre. We are developing a central square that is situated slightly asymmetrically on the site’s north-south axis. Eleven elongated, two- to three-storey saddle-roof houses providing 105 residential units with south-facing orientation are positioned at the front of this square. Due to their diverse gable sides, they form a lively and diverse line of façades on the square. The clearly designed green centre offers play and recreation opportunities for all residents. The asymmetrical arrangement of the square within the overall complex allows an optimal connection to the southern access road as well as a subsequent development of the northern or north-eastern area.

New "Verteilzentrale" Quarter, Pratteln , 2017

An attractive and lively quarter is to be developed on the site of the old Coop distribution centre (“Verteilerzentrale”), located directly next to the railway station in Pratteln. The program includes various residential uses, commercial use and a new school complex. Ten teams were invited to participate in the one-step study.

ITU Headquarters, Geneva , 2017

Connecting the world starts with in-house communication. Internal exchange is a major challenge for a company with 700 employees. The core idea of our design is a central, multi-storey space that enables orientation, connections, and eye contact between the various departments and workplaces. A wide range of special rooms such as a piano room, a workshop, a prayer room, a fitness room, or the outdoor terraces provide different meeting places and cause people to move between the storeys. Ultimately, the aim is to create a working environment where both concentrated work and a simple and relaxed exchange of know-how among all employees is possible.

Heidelberg Convention Centre, Heidelberg , 2017, honorable mention

This building is intended to become a meeting centre of regional and international importance on the former “wasteland” behind the station, thus creating an identity-building focal point for the new Bahnstadt district. The distinctive cubature, which is characterised by dynamic lines, lends the new conference centre a solitary character and thus does justice to its leading role in the Bahnstadt. Typologically, it sets an urban counterpoint to the high-rise buildings of the hotel on the station forecourt and of Schiller International University. The extra-high storeys create a unique scale, which, in keeping with its function, sets the building apart from the surrounding residential and office buildings. Towards the southern station square, the appearance of the new conference centre is welcoming and open. A striking recess in the building cubature creates a prestigious forecourt in front of the main entrance, which thanks to its clear urban layout extends the station square across the street. To the west, the conference centre forms a clear boundary to the green area of Zollhofgarten.

Suurstoffi Zug, Rotkreuz , 2017

The almost completed “Suurstoffi” quarter is located in the immediate vicinity of Lake Zug, embedded in an impressive landscape and well connected due to its proximity to the Rotkreuz railway station. For the final stage, we propose two buildings of different sizes within the perimeter, which are spatially offset from one another along their longitudinal axis. The volumetric design of the two buildings differs just as much as the appearance of their façades. The longer volume of the two takes up the alignment of the neighbouring building and continues it in a straight line along the park. On the one hand, this simple urban-planning positioning creates a clear, adequate front facing the park, which has an impressive appearance due to the significant recesses on the upper floors, and on the other hand, it forms an appropriate forecourt towards the road located north, which represents a constructive connecting point for a possible further development of the area in this direction.

Quarter on Moosrosenweg, Hamburg , 2017, honorable mention

The aim of our design is to give the entire area a spatial centre. The Moosrosenweg is the backbone and identity-creating centre of the new district. We propose a dense, urban-looking quarter with clearly defined street, square and courtyard situations. The sizes and cubic volumes of the new buildings are based on the block structures of the pre-war period, but at the same time seek a dialogue with the existing buildings. This creates a “breathing” block structure that is formed by the public space in-between, opens up to the edges and interlocks with the green areas. The result is a sequence of different squares and streets. The entrance to the quarter is flanked by three head buildings, which enclose a lively forecourt with public uses and catering facilities, located in second row and thus protected from noise.

Legler Areal, Glarus , 2017

The Legler Areal is an industrial ensemble dating from the 19th century. It is located in the Glarnerland region in the Swiss Alps, about an hour’s drive from Zurich. The industrial weaving mill was founded in 1856 by Mathias Legler. Around 1910, a modern spinning mill was added, which was in operation until the 1960s. The weaving mill, by contrast, was finally closed in 2001. Since then, most of the buildings have been vacant. In this study, we examine the possibility of a co-working retreat on the Legler site. The vision is to create an inspiring place in a quiet environment shaped by nature, where modern forms of work and contemporary relaxation as well as exchange and retreat are all equally accommodated. The Legaler Areal should become the ideal place for digital nomads, artists, company workshops, events and celebrations, yoga retreats but also for outdoor enthusiasts and weekend tourists.

Together!, Weil am Rhein , 2017, exhibition

  • © Vitra Design Museum, 2017, gestaltet von Something Fantastic, Berlin, Foto: Daniel Burchard

  • © Vitra Design Museum, 2017, gestaltet von Something Fantastic, Berlin, Foto: Daniel Burchard

  • © Vitra Design Museum, 2017, gestaltet von Something Fantastic, Berlin, Foto: Daniel Burchard

Housing space is a scarce resource—this has become increasingly evident in recent years. Real estate prices in major cities are rising and conventional concepts for residential construction are no longer able to meet the demand. These challenges have triggered a quiet revolution in contemporary architecture: collective building and living. “Together! The New Architecture of the Collective” is the first exhibition that comprehensively highlights this topic and makes it possible to experience it spatially. Using models, films and apartments reconstructed on a 1:1 scale, it presents a large number of examples from Europe, Asia, and the United States. Additionally, historic predecessors illustrate the history of collective architecture—from the reform ideas of the 19th century to the hippie and squatter scene, which began with the slogan “Make love, not lofts”.

Windisch Recruitment Center, Kunz spinningmill Windisch , 2017

Within the scope of the site development of the Kunz Spinning Mill in Windisch, a usage study for assisted living was carried out for the Rohn building, which was previously used as a recruitment centre. The building was completed in 1960 as the last building of Roland Rohn’s spinning mill ensemble. Integrating the new uses into the existing building structure only requires minor modifications. There is space for 48 rooms along the north and west façades. Six residents each form a living group, which is assigned its own common room. In addition to group accommodation, areas for workshops, staff and administration, utilities and common rooms are planned. The gym in the basement is to remain.

City Entrance Slüterstrasse, Rostock , 2017

For centuries, the city gate “Petritor” shaped the silhouette of Rostock’s old town. Its demolition destroyed this harmonious ensemble and thus a piece of the city’s historical identity. In order to close this huge gap in the evolved city structure, the construction of a new city gate has the task of restoring the historical structure of St. Peter’s Church, city wall, and the small townhouses of the old town, which are staggered on the slope, with contemporary architecture. The city gate once again plays a central role in the newly created urban ensemble with its strong cubature of reddish brick, which takes up the proportions of the original Petritor. As in the past, only the shape of the roof is varied. The closed brick envelope dissolves into a filigree network of brick pillars and precast concrete lintels along the east façade. This inviting gesture shapes the unmistakable appearance of the new Petritor at the eastern entrance to the city. The wide passageways and the large loggia on the upper floor are part of a façade composition of differentiated openings that plays with the themes of security and transparency. The office and residential buildings are constructed in the style of Rostock’s townhouses as simple plaster buildings with punctuated façades.

La construction du quotidien, Lausanne , 2017

  • © forum d’architectures

  • © forum d’architectures

  • © forum d’architectures

The “la construction du quotidien - expériences coopératives” exhibition is dedicated to the theme of cooperative housing. This practice—widespread in the German-speaking part of Switzerland—is often characterised by remarkable architecture and is celebrated as the “third way of housing”. The selection of new Swiss cooperative buildings presented in the exhibition is intended to serve as the basis for an interdisciplinary discussion for a better understanding of the present-day situation from Zurich to Lake Geneva. We are also represented with a contribution to the exhibition “la construction du quotidien” in Lausanne.

World Habitat Awards, Winner 2017

Since 1985, the Building and Social Housing Foundation, supported by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), has each year awarded two projects worldwide that provide innovative answers to urgent housing needs. One award is presented in the global South and one in the global North. «More than Living» impressed the jury as one of the largest and most ambitious cooperative projects in Europe. The holistic interpretation of sustainability, the interdisciplinary and participative planning approach, and the creation of cost-effective, ecological, and high-quality living space underpin the award. The award ceremony traditionally takes place on World Habitat Day, which is organised by UN-Habitat every October.

Weissensee Quarter, Berlin , 2016, 2nd prize

The new Weissensee Quarter is a very special, small and urban world. The location between two cemeteries and the loose housing development as well as the school calls for an urban design with strong internal relations. The precise positioning of eight residential buildings of very different sizes allows both the formation of an identity-forming community centre and a differentiated reference to existing urban structures. Interspersed smaller structures and pavilions complement the urban figure, which is new in its context, and break up its scale. A public road connection runs through the site. The common space is structured by means of a sequence of square-like situations. The newly created outdoor areas connect with the existing green space and thus strengthen the overall context, which is strongly shaped by nature. On the property, the public thoroughfare interlocks with public and private green spaces. The ground floor is designed as a primary community-building zone. The exterior space not only connects with the network of public paths—the houses themselves also interact with the sequence of outdoor spaces.

Schweizweit, Basel , Exhibition 2017

  • Ausstellung im ArchitekturSalon Hamburg, 21. Juni - 9. August 2018

  • © S AM

  • © Tom Bisig

  • © Tom Bisig

  • © Duplex Architekten

  • © Tom Bisig

The exhibition is a snapshot of current architectural projects in Switzerland. In collaboration with 162 architectural firms from all parts of the country, including Duplex Architects, the S AM has produced a visual atlas of contemporary Swiss building culture. “Schweizweit: Recent Swiss Architecture” shows the commonalities and differences in the themes, contents and formal strategies that concern Swiss architects today. The exhibition was accompanied by the publication of the same name.

New Standards, Berlin , 2016

  • Ausstellungseröffnung im DAZ, Berlin am 27. Oktober 2016 © schnepp • renou

  • Ausstellungseröffnung im DAZ, Berlin am 27. Oktober 2016 © schnepp • renou

  • Ausstellungseröffnung im DAZ, Berlin am 27. Oktober 2016 © schnepp • renou

  • Ausstellung in Kassel, Februar/März 2017 © G. Schleiff

  • Ausstellung in Nürnberg, April/Mai 2017 © Annette Kadisch

  • Ausstellung in Dresden, Juli/August 2017 © Matthias Böttger

  • Ausstellung in Dresden, Juli/August 2017 © Matthias Böttger

  • Ausstellungseröffnung in Linz, 12. September 2017 © Johanna Leitner

  • Ausstellung in Linz, September/Oktober 2017 © Johanna Leitner

  • Ausstellungseröffnung in München, 24. November 2017 © Edward Beierle

  • Ausstellungseröffnung in Stuttgart, 3. Juli 2018

The exhibition “New Standards. Ten Theses on Living” is a joint project of Deutsches Architektur Zentrum DAZ, the Association of German Architects BDA, and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety BMUB. It is intended to discuss spatial characteristics against the background of social processes and changing lifestyles and living habits. To this end, the essential quality demands on living are to be examined in detail and specified historically, exemplarily and in the outlook by means of the different living qualities. As a curatorial principle, ten architects were asked to participate in this exhibition together with BDA/DAZ and to work on specific qualities. As a member of the team of authors, Anne Kaestle is involved in the conceptual design of the exhibition. From the end of February 2017, the show will be hosted in other cities: KAZimKUBA, Kassel, February 25 to March 19, 2017; Neues Museum Nürnberg, April 5 to May 7, 2017; AIT ArchitekturSalon Köln, May 19 to June 16, 2017; Zentrum für Baukultur Sachsen, Dresden, July 7 to August 10, 2017; afo architekturforum oberösterreich, Linz, September 13 to October 28, 2017

Canteen Comprehensive School, Greven , 2016

Embedded in the new school park, the canteen is to assert itself as an independent building in a heterogeneous environment between the school buildings and the housing estate of single-family homes and, at the same time, create a spatial termination to the north. We propose a light pavilion with a distinctive roof, which has its own identity and simultaneously in its expression refers to and reinterprets the large roofs that are characteristic of Greven. The exterior and interior merge, the roof structures the building and defines hierarchies: underneath the “big roof” is the central dining hall, which extends across niches, for example the stage, up to the façade. The serving functions such as kitchen, storage and technical rooms as well as toilets are grouped around the hall, while the foyer and entrance area are oriented towards the school. The canteen as a meeting place for the school community is conceived as a market hall where pupils can meet for a meal and exchange news and information. The intention is to spend the lunch break here in a relaxed, secure atmosphere. The bright dining hall with its calm, clear ambience also offers the school a versatile room for celebrations and events.

Marckmannstrasse, Hamburg , 2016

The quarter on Marckmannstrasse in Hamburg-Rothenburgsort is a heterogeneous ensemble of post-war residential buildings and low-rise warehouses. The aim of the design is to create a dense, urban-looking quarter with clearly defined street, square, and courtyard situations. The size and cubature of the new buildings are based on the block structures of the pre-war period, but at the same time seek a dialogue with the existing buildings. As a result, the building heights develop, on the one hand, from urban planning considerations to frame the street space and, on the other hand, from reacting to the existing building opposite (staggering). Clearly defined public outdoor areas as well as attractive inner courtyard situations for semi-public and private use are laid out. However, we avoid reconstructing the typical closed block edge of the Wilhelminian period. The solitary character of the independent, compact building complexes remains clearly recognisable. At the same time, the permeability of the structural arrangement generates numerous visual references between the buildings, connects them with attractive open spaces and thus unites them to form a strong, identity-generating urban ensemble.

Everyone wants housing, Cologne , 2016

  • © M:AI

  • © Claudia Dreysse

  • © Claudia Dreysse

  • © Claudia Dreysse

  • © Claudia Dreysse

Everyone wants to have a home. But after years of a balanced housing market, “affordable” apartments have once again become a scarce commodity for a large part of our society—not only since more refugees have been arriving in Germany. There are many reasons for this: the declining social housing stock; rising standards and construction costs; sites are a rare commodity—especially in cities where more and more people want to live. Furthermore, we take up almost four times as much living space per capita today as around 1900. In the age of digitalisation, working and living are again moving closer together, and changing family structures and lifestyles require other floor plans than “kitchen. hallway. bathroom.” (museum website). In the exhibition “Everyone wants housing. Fair. Social. Affordable”, MA:I presents five thematic houses that address the diverse facets of housing. The Cluster House by Duplex Architekten at the Hunziker Areal is presented in the first of five themed houses as this part of the exhibition addresses the historical development of the apartment. The house on Dialogweg represent the current conclusion of this development.

Creative Blocks 82, Hamburg , 2016

The public uses along Versmannstrasse and the pedestrian axis are decisive for the character of the urban planning location. They enliven the urban space and interact with it. The workshops located along the façade, the restaurant facing the waterside, and the bar attract visitors to the heart of the manufactory, a place with an impressive atmosphere for presentations and encounters. The inner courtyards and roof terraces are made accessible to the residents as private outdoor spaces. The visual connection of each apartment to the water and thus the orientation towards the south and the view was the main leitmotif for the organisational division of the buildings. The various buildings have clearly recognisable typologies: co-living with spacious and well-positioned meeting and circulation areas, common areas grouped on the ground floor and oriented towards the city as well as small apartments turned towards the harbour, subsidised residential units designed as a noise protection type with arcade access and robust, flexibly usable room-to-room principle, and condominiums with a generous façade structure and a flexible room layout.

Poesie des Wohnens (Poetry of Housing), Frankfurt , 2016

  • © Moritz Bernoully

  • © Moritz Bernoully

  • © Moritz Bernoully

  • © Moritz Bernoully

“Poesie des Wohnens (poetry of living) searches for the qualities of a mix of uses. It evades the rigid regime of German building regulations and questions the dogma of silence in everyday life and work.” For two weeks, the Zukunftspavillon became a platform for dialogue and presented the development of an area in the north of Zurich as a beacon project for sustainable cooperative living. The “More than Living” project was considered a best practice example; as a basis for further discussions on how new and innovative approaches for meeting the predicted housing demand can be found.

Gute Bauten 2011–2015, , Award 2016

With the competition “Auszeichnung für gute Bauten” (Award for Good Buildings), the City of Zurich promotes a diverse building culture that places itself at the service of people. The Hunziker Areal impressed the interdisciplinary jury with its differentiated and high urban planning and architectural quality: “The Hunziker Areal in Zurich-Leutschenbach combines far more than just aspects of Zurich’s building culture of the last five years that are important from an urban, architectural, social, economic, and ecological point of view. The master plan embodies two main visions. Firstly, a public one: to create a new urban quarter in a peripheral location. Secondly, a cooperative one: to find a suitable place and framework for new forms of communal living and working.” (excerpt from the jury statement)

Wienerberger Brick Award, , Special award 2016

  • © Christian Dusek für Wienerberger

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

“The Brick Award is like the presentation of a master class where the best and most interesting types of brick architecture from all over the world are presented to the public to show how far you can go with brick and what extraordinary things you can realise with this material.” Alfred Munckenbeck, jury member Wienerberger Brick Award 2016

“This project tries to find an answer to some of the moving questions of our time: how people can live together, how they interact with each other and from the inside out with the public space, and how they collectively use the facilities. These buildings are designed to provide people with affordable housing. In this project, the ceramic building material is hidden. It is an insulating building block, so it serves as both supporting structure and thermal insulation. And anyway, when you see the floor plan—let’s say it’ s trying to find freedom in its organisation. And it is obvious that brick actually allows this freedom in the design of the floor plan.” (excerpt from the jury statement)

Time Space Existence, Venice , Biennale 2016

  • © Duplex Architekten

  • © zVg

As an official part of the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice, which takes place under the direction of Pritzker Prize winner Alejandro Aravena, the exhibition “Time Space Existence” at the European Cultural Centre (Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora) presents more than 100 architects from 6 continents who are brought together in an extraordinary way. The exhibition documents current developments and considerations in architecture by stimulating discussion of the philosophical concepts of time, space and existence, whereby fundamental questions are emphasised.

At Palazzo Bembo, in a room specially designed for the occasion, we show the film «With Other’s Eyes».

Die Besten, , Swiss architecture and design award, 2015

  • © Hochparterre

“The buildings, objects and facilities are ‘The Best’ because they are sensitive, outstanding or simply exemplary.” (Hochparterre) Every year, Hochparterre looks for “The Best” in architecture, design and landscape. Thanks to the wide range of topics, the award-winning projects are manifold. This enables the award to show the latest trends in design and society as well as to provide an overview of current activities in Switzerland.

Canteen Turmweg School, Hamburg , 2016

Nestled in a park-like setting with old trees, an ensemble of detached buildings constitutes the primary school on Turmweg. In this heterogeneous architectural environment, the new canteen is to assert itself as an independent structure and simultaneously reconfigure the schoolyard towards Hallerstrasse. We propose a clear, hall-like building that acquires its own identity through a distinctive roof landscape. The simple, elongated volume blends unobtrusively into the surrounding buildings. Only the view to the gable façades brings out the exciting, characteristic silhouette of the roof, whose dynamic movement accompanies the access route from Hallerstrasse to the schoolyard. The roof structures the building into three recognisable functional areas—the “supply area” on Hallerstrasse with kitchen, delivery and ancillary rooms, the extra high dining hall in the centre of the building, lit by a lantern-like band of skylights, and the covered entrance area in front of the building, which opens onto the schoolyard. Following the idea of a market hall, the new canteen is conceived as a meeting place for the school community, where pupils meet for a meal and exchange news and information. The canteen also serves as a meeting point during breaks, allowing activities under the large canopy even in bad weather. Here, parents pick up their children after school, and people meet for a chat.

Don't be afraid to participate!, Munich , 2016

  • © Sebastian Schels

  • © Sebastian Schels

  • © Sebastian Schels

The further development of housing construction in major European cities is currently facing dramatic challenges in view of ongoing urbanisation, growing interest in residential property, and an equally growing differentiation of housing needs. The most important issues are how much urban density is actually necessary and possible, a balanced social mix as well as the quality of living. New construction initiatives are currently being launched in response to the housing market, which is dominated by economic factors. Oriented towards individual requirements and self-determined forms of organisation, these residential projects of building associations or cooperatives follow a common approach: participation!

The exhibition features twelve current residential projects from Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, whose development process was accompanied by numerous workshops and working groups during which the participants specified their ideas of habitation and living together and defined the concept in terms of content. (Magazine accompanying the exhibition). (http://www.architekturmuseum.de/jetzt/detail/keine-angst-vor-partizipation-wohnen-heute-das-magazin-zur-ausstellung/)).

More than Living, Hunziker Areal, Zurich, was selected as Project No. 1 for the presentation in the scope of the exhibition.

Different living in old age, Oberrieden , 2016, 2nd prize

The tranquil atmosphere of the “Winkelhalden” residential development is to be disturbed as little as possible by the new buildings. The heterogeneous urban planning approach divides the entire construction volume into acceptable units. The new silhouette leaves enough room for the neighbouring buildings so that their lake view is only marginally affected. Active, self-determined living and habitation in old age is defined by the choreography of public uses throughout the complex. A bistro as well as studio and music rooms are located around the “Piazza”. The networks of paths through the outdoor space ties the whole ensemble together. The landscaping concept for the estate is a nature-orientated design that uses landscape elements to create an exciting outdoor space. The houses are accessed via the common, semi-private loggia layer. The continuous, open pergola turns into a meeting place. Due to the hillside location, each house can be entered on two levels: from the upper section of the slope, with an outdoor space to be designed in a participative manner, and from a side entrance on the lower level, with the assigned common room and launderette. The structural concept of the lever bar system allows several apartments to be combined into larger units. The individual living units are conceived as a modular system.

Living at the Hartenberg Park, Mainz , 2015, special mention

Located on the Hartenberg plateau, the property extends deep into the green park. The buildings follow this movement. Folds and protrusions anchor the buildings and create squares and courtyards. Specific omissions and recesses take up the granular layout of the surroundings: the building volume concentrates on seven compact row buildings typical of the area, and two large connected residential courtyards are created inside. Contrary to the surrounding park, the character is bright and open. Loosely scattered groups of trees and a coherent network of paths are the few but atmospheric structures that characterise the place, structure the elevation of the folded walls and generate spatial depth. Apartments with extra high kitchen areas benefit from the view to the park and the inner courtyard. The neighbouring buildings C&D are laid out with 2-3 residential units sharing a circulation core, so that the resulting apartments are oriented towards 2 sides at least. The buildings E, F & G are very efficiently organised with one core serving 3-5 residential units. Diagonal visual connections create exciting sequences of rooms that make the apartments appear larger.

Hunziker Areal, Zurich , Permanent exhibition since 2015

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

“The Hunziker Areal was realized in 2014/2015 as a pioneering building and housing project. It is a beacon project for non-profit housing construction and is committed to the goals of the 2000-watt society. The exhibition room at Genossenschaftsstrasse 13 has dedicated a multimedia exhibition to this process since 2007. It is also considered a living archive and is to be continuously developed and complemented. The exhibition acquaints visitors with the guiding principles of the “mehr als wohnen” cooperative building association: How do you build for the 2000-watt society, and how do you live in the energy-saving buildings? How do residents of the quarter participate? Text, image, and video contributions in which residents, planners, and contractors have their say address these questions. The exhibition features a wide range of publications, first-hand reports, media articles, and background information on non-profit housing construction, cooperative projects, architecture, and urban development. An exciting fund for students and specialists, but also for those interested in general. The exhibition can be visited during the opening hours of the reception.” (More than Living)

Cities Connection Project, Barcelona–Zurich , 2016

  • © The Cities Connection Project

The “Cities Connection Project” (CCP) is a project of architects Nicola Regusci and Xavier Bustos from Barcelona, which creates synergies between architects, cultural institutions, authorities, and universities in European cities. With Barcelona as a meeting point, the focus is on the organisation of exhibitions, conferences, and other “connections” in two European cities that are distinguished by their special architectural and cultural traditions.

Guest House University of Hamburg, Hamburg , 2015

The new guest house of the University of Hamburg is to be built in the immediate vicinity of the listed Museum of Ethnology. The triangular site is located in a high-quality urban conservation area, which was severely affected by destructions during the Second World War and planning mistakes in the post-war period. The new building therefore plays a key role in the effort to strengthen the prestigious appearance of the Wilhelminian style district, part of which is under a preservation order. The urban figure we propose occupies the northern corner of the property along Feldbrunnenstrasse and Mollerstrasse with a distinct gesture. As a result, the new building keeps an appropriate distance from the Ethnological Museum and creates a spacious garden with a high recreational quality in the southern part of the property. The building is structured by deep courtyard-like recesses, similar to the typical urban principle of the Hamburg “Schlitzbauten” (multi-storey residential buildings with a T-shaped ground plan and lighting slits on the rear side), so that its volume adapts to the proportions of the small-scale villa structure of the neighbouring development.

Am Mühleberg, Berlin , 2015, 3rd prize

The site “Am Mühlenberg” was developed in the 1950s in the typical style of post-war modernism. We modify the existing structure with the help of adaptors to achieve a new urban ensemble with clearly defined streets and courtyards. The existing buildings remain legible and functional. The heights of the new buildings are oriented by the adjacent houses or result from urban planning considerations to define the street space. At the same time, clearly discernible outdoor typologies are created. These include rather introverted but walk-through courtyards of different character, a continuous alley system, partly car-free, partly as residential paths with visitor parking spaces, and a sequence of distinctive public micro squares.

Department Store Façade Design, Kiel , 2015

The new department store is situated in a prominent inner-city location. With the planned restoration of the “Small Kiel Canal”, the building will not only flank Berliner Platz but also form an important part of the inner-city silhouette along the new waterway. We propose a high-quality, prestigious, clearly structured façade design that focuses on the north façade facing Berliner Platz. In order to clearly define the square in terms of urban planning aspects and to make the building’s façade facing the square clearly discernible as the main elevation, we have dispensed with the rounded cubature of the present planning status. Instead, an arcade zone is created on the ground floor at Berliner Platz, which emphasises the show facade of the department store and creates a generous entrance area as a transition between the public square and the new second main entrance to the store.

Whit other's Eyes, Berlin , 2015

  • Vernissage at Architektur Galerie Berlin © Jasmin Schuller

  • Vernissage at Architektur Galerie Berlin © Jasmin Schuller

  • Vernissage at Architektur Galerie Berlin © Jasmin Schuller

  • Vernissage at Architektur Galerie Berlin © Jasmin Schuller

  • Further venues: 28.5. - 27.11.2016, 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice as part of the exhibition "Time Space Existence" at Palazzo Bembo

  • Further venues: 17.03. - 12.06.2016 as part of the exhibition "Don´t Be Afraid to Participate! - Housing Today" at Pinakothek der Moderne, Architekturmuseum der TU München. © Sebastian Schels

  • Further venues: 19.8. – 2.9.2016 «Poesie des Wohnens – Experimentelle Zonen der Nutzungsmischung» im Zukunftspavillon auf dem Goetheplatz, Frankfurt am Main. © Moritz Bernoully

  • Further venues: 14.09. – 30.10.2016 Exhibition "Alle wollen wohnen. Gerecht. Sozial. Bezahlbar.” at the Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst NRW on the Clough site, Cologne. © Claudia Dreysse

  • Further venues: 28.10.2016 – 22.01.2017 Exhibition "New Standards. Ten Theses on Housing", DAZ, Berlin. © schnepp • renou

  • Further venues: 03.06. – 10.09.2017 Exhibition "Together! The New Architecture of the Collective" at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein. © Vitra Design Museum, 2017, designed by Something Fantastic, Berlin, photograph: Daniel Burchard

In the summer of 2015, around 1,200 residents moved into the thirteen houses of Project N°1 of the “Mehr als Wohnen” building cooperative. “With Other’s Eyes” is a film project with which we accompanied this historic moment: From close proximity, we watched the emerging neighbourhood grow. Shortly after they moved in, we communicated in writing as silent directors with the residents of “our” houses over a period of six weeks. In the form of directing instructions, we asked them to explore the various locations of their new home by filming them. They are the actors in this film: protagonists and cameramen at the same time (click here for the trailer).

For the film premiere at Architektur Galerie Berlin, a pop-up cinema was built instead of a museum presentation. The two synchronised projection rooms allowed a real cinematic experience, where all attention was focused on the film. The foyer in-between featured two works by Piet Hein van Eek. The Dutch furniture designer arranges seemingly worthless material into artistic objects of utility. Lamp and counter were produced especially for this exhibition and are just as much “serial unique pieces” as the professionally cut raw material in our participative film project.

Mythenquai, Zurich , 2015

Along Mythenquai, the massive base level with its commercial uses is the dominant element. The common base encloses two 6-storey filigree residential buildings like a bracket. The differentiated building heights and the projections and recesses of the residential levels add a rhythm to the street profile of the elongated building volume, as is typical for the façade design of many industrial buildings along Mythenquai. The horizontal division into base, upper and attic floors also continues the design canon of the surrounding buildings. In order to provide access to the lake through the long building volume, the division of the upper floors into two clearly separated structures is another striking design element of the western façade. On the lake side, the building appears to be a staggered ensemble, which, depending on the viewpoint, seems to consist of individual structures. At the same time, the staggered lake façade creates an enlarged façade design that makes it possible to provide every living room and bedroom with a lake view. The positioning of the buildings creates a narrower urban outdoor space towards Mythenquai and on the lake side— also along the entire length of the property—a larger outdoor space for the residents, which visually extends the Savera Park.

Haven Island, Wilhelmshaven , 2015, 3rd prize

In projects involving living by the water, we play with the concept of inner-city density: the vastness of the harbour basin is deliberately given a counterpart of urban spatial structures. Accentuated distribution of densities creates not only connecting bottlenecks but also differentiated open spaces, which are essential to keep a district together. The design is thus a kind of antithesis to conventional residential areas. There are no semi-private backyards, but the greenery, the recreational areas and parks (concentrated and decentralised) are part of the urban outdoor space. The north-south alleys form a network of viewing axes to the sea, while the west-east axes connect the squares scenographically. The “mistakes” in the system or the omissions create small squares and points of attraction. Public life is focused around these spaces and a new quarter full of character and variety emerges. The buildings are dimensioned in a way to allow, depending on the apartment mix, four to six residential units with a shared circulation core. 80% of the apartments are oriented to two sides and overlook both the harbour basins and the squares. In addition, there are tension-filled connections from the corner of the apartments into the alleys and along the main axes.

Artland Grammar School, Quakenbrück , 2015, special mention

The existing urban situation is characterised by the coexistence of different building types—resulting in an unsteady spatial structure without a clear layout. Our design integrates into the one- to two-storey buildings, supplements and reorganises the existing building parts and clearly structures the exterior spaces into public and semi-public areas. “Continued construction” is the central idea of the design, which characterises the approach to the existing building structure of the main and adjoining building in floor plan, façade, and structural concept. The existing building, in which the spacious corridors and long routes are particularly striking, will be gutted and reorganised. The new building adjoins the existing building and expands it with new spatial constellations that give the whole a new identity.

Bauhaus-Museum, Dessau , 2015

The Bauhaus Museum is a filigree, three-storey building on the north-eastern edge of the city park. Following Dessau’s old city structure from before the Second World War, a prominent location will be newly occupied. With its elongated shape, the building frames the streetscape along Kavalierstrasse and at the same time defines a clear transition between city and park. The differentiated “head of the building” at the intersection Friedrich-/ Kavalierstrasse as well as the slight recess from the street alignment emphasise the new museum as a special cultural place in the cityscape. Thanks to the compact design, the extent of interventions in the park is limited to minor measures that anchor the museum in its surroundings.

Südmole Wine Pavilion, Mainz , 2015

In a newly emerging urban district, the question of identity-forming elements has a very special significance. It is important to create places for sensory experiences, objects that attract people’s attention. At the junction between the North and South pier, the inner harbour and the Rhine, the pavilion rearranges the spaces. By placing the extra high volume, it acquires the necessary weight. Like a lighthouse, it defines the anchor point of the different directions of movement as a new attraction. At the same time, it blends into its surroundings with its partly folded longitudinal sides so that inviting places are created.

Parish Centre, Hamburg , 2015, 3rd prize

The new parish centre merges with the existing building and presents itself as a staggered building volume with a cross-shaped ground plan and autonomous north, east, south, and west wings. With a prestigious entrance along Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse, it develops a new, dynamic silhouette. As a counterbalance to the adjacent small-scale development, the building avoids any suburban fragmentation. It occupies the corner of the site without hermetically closing it off. On the ground floor, a backlit foyer connects the event hall, restaurant, and chapel. A distinction between old and new is only visible at second glance—the inner courtyard with the surrounding cloister unites the building parts into a whole.

University Campus, Potsdam , 2015, special mention

The site of the university campus at the New Palace in Potsdam is located in one of the largest and most important parks in Europe. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, its development is subject to the highest urban and architectural preservation requirements, which can only be met by the best possible integration of the building ensemble to be planned into the Sanssouci Park landscape. We propose the division of the building volumes into several “houses”, which unfold an extensive network of inner courtyards and small squares. The small-scale building ensemble with its finger-like ground plan structure literally interlocks with the surrounding park landscape. The new campus complex is architecturally oriented towards the outbuildings of the palace complex, such as the gardener’s house and the Kaiserbahnhof. Thus, these buildings develop as a reproduction of this building type from individually discernible “houses moved together”. This additive principle provides great scope for expansion and the future development of the university at this location. It is variable in its design form, allows many different uses and can therefore also adapt to future changes in the university operation.

Suurstoffi, Rotkreuz , 2015

“The building on construction site C will occupy an outstanding position in the Suurstoffi quarter due to its height and central location. The aim is that the building not only incorporates this aspect through its form, but above all through its energy concept, which is achieved through an intelligent mix of high-tech and low-tech. Since neither the location nor the view of the building constitutes a unique selling proposition in relation to the competing properties, the building itself must become this unique selling proposition. It is to be clearly recognisable as a residential building by means of a non-monotonous, lively and “green” façade and represent something unique in Switzerland. (Excerpt from the competition brief)

Sports facilities for the 2024 Summer Olympics Kiel, Kiel , 2014

With the Schilksee Olympic Centre, Kiel has proven its capabilities for more than 40 years. The grounds of the former naval pilot squadron in Holtenau give Kiel a promising opportunity for new, urban Olympic sailing competitions—modern, urban, and visionary. Due to further planning, Schilksee can once again become a new Olympic centre—providing an infrastructure that not only meets the requirements of 2024, but also shows future potential. The proven backbone of the entire complex becomes the starting point for the further architectural development: From the boulevard on the second floor, which is open to the east and provides barrier-free access as well as shops, restaurants and an integrated swimming pool, spectators have an excellent view of the harbour area in 2024, without interfering with the athletes’ preparations.

Inselspital, Bern , 2014, 5th prize

The “Herz Dame” project aims at the consistent recognisability of the base volume and ward tower. The construction area is fully occupied, which, on the one hand, ensures favourable conditions for horizontally organised hospital processes and, on the other hand, supports the clarity of the open areas defined in the master plan. The simple, compact structure also offers a good ratio of enveloping surfaces to volume and thus generates an energetically and economically favourable starting position. The central structuring element is a generous space punched out of the base. This internal hall brings daylight all the way to the entrance level and guarantees simple & orientation. Versatile views into and from the building support interdisciplinary communication. The hall is the actual place of arrival and becomes a hub for all patients and visitors of the future Inselspital—which allows or even requires such an expansive gesture to do justice to this significance. At first glance, the Inselspital presents itself to the visitor as an open facility and reveals a controlled transparency that creates trust.

Deubau Award, , Winner 2014

  • © Rainer Schimm/Messe Essen

  • © Messe Essen

“The DEUBAU Award stands for young architecture. It provides information about the commitment, the willingness to experiment, and the desire to introduce unconventional topics into the debate on the future of architecture and urban development. Its aim is to promote young German architects in Germany.” (Website DEUBAU Award). “A demanding contribution to the new housing issue in urban planning: Dipl.-Ing. Anne Kaestle, a young German architect, and Dan Schürch, architect of Duplex Architekten AG, collaborated with Sabine Frei, architect, and Kornelia Gysel, Dipl. Architektin ETH at Futurafrosch GmbH to develop a living piece of city for the Hunziker Areal in Zurich”. (Excerpt from the jury statement)

Great Minster, Zurich , 2014

The Great Minster has to meet a wide variety of requirements. Besides its actual purpose as a spiritual meeting place, it is also an accessible landmark affording a generous view, an attraction for those interested in culture and Polke fans from all over the world, as well as an event hall for concerts. Like an instrument that is constantly exposed to different temperatures, it must now be “tuned” in order to create a harmony of the different requirements. We propose a catalogue of measures that can be implemented in modules. After each module, the effect achieved can not only be qualified by means of a scientific analysis procedure, but also quantified. Visitor behaviour, for example, is recorded by temporarily installed cameras and evaluated. The result supports the decision for the respective next step.

Südbahnhof, Hannover , 2014

The distinctive triangular geometry of the site reflects the project’s position as a nucleus between the block edge structure to the west, the industrial zone to the east, and the noisy, prominent railway line in the north. These built structures in the dispersed neighbourhood with atmospheric density characterise the plot. The proposed large form, designed as a block edge development, reacts to this diverse neighbourhood and strengthens the quality of its surroundings with contextual building sections. As a coherent figure, the building maintains a uniform expression and continues the tradition of the local settlement history. The newly proposed volume has the potential to assert itself as a sustainable identity-generating building in this heterogeneous environment.

Development Outline, Stellingen , 2014

At Sportplatzring, in the geographical centre of Stellingen, the spatial densification and the layout of precisely designed public open spaces are to create a place that will become the identity carrier and development engine of the district. Sportplatzring forms the backbone of the urban development. The widening of the road space creates places with specific spatial qualities and further enhances Sportplatzring. On the sports field area, we propose an urban figure consisting of elongated, expansive buildings that enclose these identity-forming places and continue the theme of the square in semi-public inner courtyards. The residential and commercial building on Stellinger Markt plays a special role. Two 175m long buildings are placed along the busy southern part of Sportplatzring, protecting the quarter from noise emissions and constituting the face of the new quarter. The buildings of the second construction phase on the school grounds are also in dialogue with the adjacent building stock. Here, we propose eight detached houses in the park with three full storeys and a recessed penthouse level.

Oberes Murifeld, Bern , 2014

The urban planning pattern takes up the two prevailing directions of the heterogeneous neighbourhood and thus mediates between the residential rows (north-south) on the one hand and the commercial buildings (east-west) on the other. The four-storey building rows allow good passage through the site, their meandering form generates a sequence of squares which become an important means of identification for the residents. Alleys and courtyards alternate, a variety of views from courtyard to courtyard and exciting spatial sequences emerge as you walk through the area in both directions. Access is provided along the east façade, so that on the west side a substantial proportion of private gardens is available for the apartments on the raised ground floor. The eight-storey “towers” create a volumetric anchoring of the urban fabric; they accompany Weltpoststrasse and mark the main entrance to the quarter. They are key points of orientation within the area and offer a good starting position for attractive apartments with a panoramic view.

Urban Living, Berlin , 2013

The property “Am Mühlenberg” was developed in the 1950s in the typical style of post-war modernism. All of a sudden, a group of free-standing housing blocks, which are surrounded by extensive green areas, rises in-between the neighbouring block edge development dating from the Wilhelminian period. The generous but undefined public space between the buildings allows neither urbanity nor privacy to develop and therefore remains largely unused. The existing buildings remain both comprehensible and functional. On the one hand, the project creates new living space within the inner periphery of Berlin and, on the other hand, modernises an “aging” residential area, which will lead to a mixing and rejuvenation of the local population. The size and cubature of the new buildings are based on the solitary character of the apartment blocks. The building heights make reference to the adjacent development or result from urban planning considerations to frame the streetscape. The readability of the existing road network is strengthened and clearly defined public outdoor areas and new courtyard situations are created, where semi-public and private uses are possible.

Conversion of a Silo, Basel , 2013-2016, 1st prize

As a witness of the city’s industrial past, the historic silo becomes the nucleus of the new development in Erlenmatt. A variety of public uses make it the centre of communal and cultural life in the quarter: gastronomy, common areas, local library, cinema, swimming pool, music school, and rehearsal rooms bring people together and have an appeal beyond the neighbourhood. The specific character of the industrial building with its differentiated horizontal layering is maintained and strengthened, vertical circulation and functional rooms are moved to the joint buildings. The central role of the building is also manifested in its relationship to the newly created space. The elegant paving of the square extends to the ground floor hall and blurs the boundary between interior and exterior: an ornamental pattern of asphalt and natural stone slabs is rolled out like a carpet in the exterior. The square becomes a living space, the house becomes a square.

Gastronomic Pavilion ETH, Zurich , 2013, 2nd prize

SBB agrees to transfer a station building / freight shed to the ETHZ for the symbolic price of one Swiss franc for use as a restaurant pavilion. The costs for dismantling, transport, and reassembly are included in the bidding consortium’s quotation. The transferred building is a representative of its time and demonstrates the changes in Switzerland as a technology location: In many places, route optimization, automation, and logistical progress deprive the former station buildings of their original purpose. The goods shed symbolises the networking of ETH, not only with regard to the reference to its original location but above all to the motif of the railway station as a place of arrival and departure. The question of sustainability is almost incidentally answered on a completely different level beyond the label: a second life cycle is given to an inconspicuous functional building that “has already lived a life before”.

ZHAW + Zusammenhalt, Winterthur , 2013

For this complex construction project, we choose an integral approach and see a unique opportunity for transformation. The heart of the “new building” is the reversal of the existing Hall 191 into a courtyard: The roof in need of renovation is removed, the old industrial façades form the internal face of the newly created outdoor space. A place that tells stories of its industrial past. It becomes a meeting place for students and lecturers of both faculties as well as residents and visitors of the area. The second design-generating element is derived from the issue of the interface between university and housing association: An internal lane dissolves the functional separation of the very different uses and simultaneously creates an immediate spatial cohesion. The scenic path along the alley starts with lobby and reception at the street and leads along the entire length of the building until it reaches its end point at the two-storey activity platform. This is also an ideal venue for events—with an attractive view across the tracks.

Mehr als Kunst (More than Art), Zurich , 2010 – 2017

The “mehr als wohnen” building cooperative is developing a new (urban) quarter on the Hunziker site in Zurich-Leutschenbach. Since the building site is a place without evolved structures and its own identity, phase 1 of the art and building project “more than art” focused on the fallow land and the dialogue with residents currently living on and around the site. The team of curators Grillo/Wagner concentrated on temporary participative and dialogical art projects. Parallel to the projects, a blog was initiated, which is maintained by Karin Freitag. The second project phase focused on the dialogue between architecture and art. The “Social Urban Zone” is an attempt to enhance the public space with targeted, minimal architectural interventions. The unusual “Trinkbrunnen” (drinking fountain) by conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin from Atelier für Sonderaufgaben is the first and central intervention of an overall system in which the given maxims of “more than art” are reflected in the “more than living” project and put to the test. In spring 2014, two further minimal architectural interventions were implemented. All three measures are conceptually linked and are the subject of a complete test setup.

Inter-Community School Zurich, Volketswil , 2010–2014, 1st prize

The Inter-Community School Zurich was founded in 1960 and offers international education in English for children and young people between the ages of three and eighteen. As an extension of the existing premises in Zumikon, a second school complex is to be built in Volketswil. According to the client’s requests, the design has to be as flexible as possible to allow for possible adaptations to future requirements. Our concept is oriented towards the human scale and creates a diverse and inspiring environment with different spatial sequences in six individual buildings. We pay attention to a balanced emphasis of indoor and outdoor areas: in addition to being a place of arrivals, the courtyards are also dedicated to games and sports. With their varied characters, they allow very different uses and combine the surrounding buildings and classrooms into a single unit. Teachers and students will be able to identify with both single buildings and individual places.

Esplanade Nord, Biel , 2013, 2nd prize

The urban planning dimension of this building project demands an extraordinary architectural response. For the appearance towards the esplanade, we are looking for a striking urban motif that is, in the sense of an initial spark, evolving into an unmistakable identity carrier of the new urban quarter. The curved façade consisting of two alternating arch segments (A-B-A-B) adds a rhythm to the entire length of the esplanade. The vertical fluting sets a counterpoint to the dominant horizontal expansion of the initial urban planning situation. At the same time, it allows a considerable building depth, so that the entire volume can be realised in the eastern perimeter as a block edge development without any backyard building “in the second row”. All apartments benefit from the generously laid out courtyard. For the internal organisation, the dynamic façade generates a variety of visual references towards the public urban space.

Züriwerk, Zurich , 2014–2015

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

  • © Johannes Marburg, Genf

On the ground floor of House A, a part of the overall “More than Living” project, we implement the tenant’s fit-out for the Züriwerk Foundation. In the future, the studio will employ up to 28 people with cognitive and/or multiple impairments in five work rooms. It offers those who, because of their handicap, cannot work in a productive way the opportunity to pursue an activity appropriate to their abilities and to participate in the newly created part of the city. The distinctive supporting structure of the apartments above, which is visible on the ground floor, proved to be a suitable layout for the operational and assistance concept of Züriwerk Foundation. The arrangement of the studios and the various lounge and break rooms reflects the interplay of private areas and common rooms in the apartments. The work rooms are connected by sliding doors. Generous glazing promotes visual contact and allows the occupants of the house to participate in the employment service.

Stadtstück, Schlieren , 2014

Our resident is an urban nomad. He is in his early 20s to late 30s and always on the go: an internship in Dubai, a new love in London, a summer in New York. It’s about keeping as many options open as possible. “… GEORGE ?” is a temporary home, a base camp for excursions to new adventures, the place to return to and be at home within seconds. Individualists and bohemians with a greater experience of life join in. The entire volume will be accommodated in a single building, 9.80 m deep and 500 m long. The building structure is—like a writing—inscribed in the perimeter and generates a lively empty space as a common internal centre. On the edges, the undulating backward and forward movement creates urban niches and gives the complex a distinctive, unmistakable appearance on all sides. The building site is accompanied on both sides by high-speed road axes; the basic figure takes up the theme of dynamics and, in a kind of turbulence, creates an adequate termination to the somewhat uniform rows of buildings from the previous development projects in the direction of the city.

Living in the Ried, Köniz , 2013

On the one hand, the vision of the master plan defines clear interfaces between the residential area and the landscape, and on the other hand, a high degree of permeability is required. We interpret the residential development as a series of individual city villas that serve as connecting links through their loggias. In this way, the building areas are precisely framed on the outer edges, while at the same time, various visual references are created between inside and outside. The expanse of the surrounding landscape can already be felt at ground floor level, a quality that will have a direct impact on the use of this courtyard, which is more than just a circulation area providing access: it is a place of encounter and community. The staggering of the building volumes on the “soft” inside supports the villa character of the individual houses and creates intimate places, niches, and retreats for the garden apartments. The terraced layout ensures a pleasant scale, while at the same time the courtyard is occupied and actively used on several levels.

Hochweid Retirement Home, Kilchberg , 2013

Elderly people in very different life situations find a home in the old people’s centre; this is reflected in the urban development figure: old people’s home and old people’s housing estate are perceived as separate institutions, but nevertheless appear as an ensemble in architectural terms. In accordance with their different housing offers, the planned extensions are, as regards urban planning aspects, integrated into the development in a differentiated manner. The new residential complex complements the existing facilities of the retirement home to form a courtyard that is enclosed on three sides. With its large, slightly sloping roof, the new wing blends in with the topography, while the view of the landscape from the upper floors of the existing buildings remains unobstructed.

In the area providing communal rooms, selective extra high areas give the new building its own volumetric identity. With a limited building depth of around ten metres, the apartments stretch from façade to façade as a spatial continuum; in accordance with the unobstructed view across the neighbouring houses, the main residential side and thus the orientation of the loggias changes from east to west. Living, eating, and cooking stretch out between the longitudinal façades, the loggia of the living area is oriented towards the corner of the building. An “open” room, which connects to the living area with a wide sliding door, reinforces the spatial permeability along the façade; the expansive view is the decisive theme and staged in an impressive manner.

Waldmeisterweg, Zurich , 2013

The project is based on a cross-shaped figure that tapers slightly towards the ends so that increased clearances towards the neighbouring plots are avoided. The result is a longitudinal building structure that accompanies the course of the road and leaves the necessary open space for the garden side. The “central risalit” on the street side divides the building volume into three unequal façade sections. Despite the massive densification, familiar building lengths of the immediate vicinity are taken up. In favour of a stronger interlocking, the south wing projects a little further into the green space. The top floor is so recessed from the main volume that the new building appears to have three full storeys plus a raised ground floor—with a building height of 11.5 m a moderate transition to the predominantly two-storey neighbouring development. The standard floor accommodates six residential units sharing one circulation core, which are laid out as four 4-room apartments and two small apartments. In total, there is room for 18 apartments and two studios.

School Fischbek Falkenberg, Hamburg , 2013, 2nd prize

The grounds of the Fischbek-Falkenberg School (Fischbek location) impress with their green park with an extensive bush and tree population. The architectural concept strengthens the park as the heart of the school landscape. New and old buildings naturally blend in to form an ensemble that defines the site boundaries and simultaneously creates an open and permeable interior space. The given heterogeneity is reduced by the uniform architectural vocabulary of the new buildings as a whole. As two-storey pavilions, the buildings subordinate themselves to the park with its existing trees. At the same time, their limited height allows them to harmoniously merge with the village-like environment. The cubature of the forum also integrate well into its surroundings in terms of expanse and height, as its narrow side opens up to the urban space. This results in a new, explicit presence: A spacious square is created, which clearly defines the entrance situation as an offer for the district to serve as a neighbourhood square, thus integrating the school more strongly into its social environment.

Seewies, Güttingen , 2013, 2nd prize

The building volume is divided into seven compact detached houses, so that all buildings can benefit from a view of Lake Constance. Two slightly different types of buildings, freely positioned on the site, ensure a relaxed variety despite the basic serial idea. Private gardens enclose the sculptured houses, each providing 8 - 10 apartments, like cushions. In between, a system of paths, squares, and alleys promotes the communal life in the quarter. The apartments on the first floor also have a direct connection to the garden via a “garden room” situated in the corners of the three-wing building types. It can be used either as an extended living space or as an autonomous unit in the sense of a “Stöckli”: as a guest suite, for the own start-up office or sewing studio, for the grandmother or a teenager. The volumetric recesses on the upper floors create generous terraces for the attic apartments—with magnificent views of the landscape around Lake Constance.

Bildungsmeile, Zurich , 2013–2017

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is moving to the newly designed Toni Areal in the western part of the city—the previously used areas between the main railway station and Limmatplatz will be available for new uses. The relocation also offers the opportunity to optimise the vocational schools located in this area today in terms of their operation and floor areas.

Wohnen am Hübelweg, Niederlenz , 2013–2014, 1st prize

“The project seeks a balance between village and landscape. The project authors therefore make the coexistence of density and expanse the overriding theme. A rather urban quality is consciously developed, which relates to the density of the core zone. […] In its architecture, the project takes up familiar images of village buildings and tries to integrate the distinctive building volumes in the rural context. The cultivated landscape that is structured with walls and terraces forms a concreted base for the new buildings. Above it, the buildings with a traditional punctuated façade are plastered. The modest yet characteristic architecture has an appropriate and identity-building effect.” (Excerpt from the jury statement)

Residential and Nursing Home, Frienisberg , 2013

The design is based on two different implementations of the same typological idea. In the “East” quarter, the main building forms a new, distinct address on Bernstrasse; on the west side, three “villas” are grouped around a village-like square, slightly elevated above the lake. The composition of the four elements monastery, main building, villa cluster, and barn defines the new village centre around Frienisberg’s central open space. Together with the historic buildings, the replacement buildings form an ensemble that continues the evolved village structure without competing with the monastery. The relocation of the centre also means an opening of the previously introverted institution to the outside world.

Eisweiher Areal, Oberwil , 2013

A comprehensive overall urban development concept for the Eisweiher site is to show structuring and design measures that contribute to the creation of an attractive district and high-quality living environment. The result is to represent an architectural density appropriate to the task, the place and the environment, a high-quality and functional access and circulation area as well as attractive outdoor spaces. This raises in particular the question of the architectural and outdoor character of the Eisweiher Quarter as a new component in the core area of Oberwil. (Excerpt from the competition brief)

Schütze Areal, Zurich , 2013

The Schütze Areal in District 5 is located close to the Escher-Wyss Square and is, despite its size, only noticed by a few. Travellers stay in summer, but at the same time the “urban wasteland” is an outdoor space for locals. In the future, Schütze Areal is to be a central meeting point in the district, but for this to happen, the site needs to be restructured and enhanced with attractive offers. With the concentration of the building volume at the eastern site boundary, a park area of maximum size is created, which joins the sequence of recreational areas typical of the area—such as Josefswiese, Turbinenplatz or the (…) Pfingstweidpark. At the same time, a heterogeneous courtyard with parking spaces, delivery zone, and work area will be laid out in the closed off block perimeter development.

Hotel Park and Seeallee, Heiden , 2012

The building site for the new hotel in Heiden is a sensitive place in the townscape. It marks the beginning and the end of the traditional spa promenade, which basically justifies a prestigious building for public use. Our design is derived from the silhouette of Heiden; the perspective staggering of simple cubic building volumes is incorporated into the project. By dividing the hotel into three individual units, its volume corresponds to its surroundings; familiar façade proportions of the typical classical Biedermeier houses are reinterpreted. The result is a modern building that nevertheless tells the story of the location. It is a distinctive building with a quiet character, which is able to integrate into the overall picture quite naturally and unpretentiously due to its peculiarities.

Letzigraben, Zurich , 2012, 3rd prize

The re-densification of districts offers the opportunity to make the city more tangible as a designed spatial continuum. The spatial dialogue of urban fragments turns the city and the district as a whole into an area of identification. The two sides of the perimeter are characterised by very different urban spaces, each with its own unique qualities. With the concentration of the building volume along the construction line at Letzigraben, the urban character of the streetscape is strengthened and Heiligfeld Park as the green centre of the district is extended up to the plot. The concave spreading of the volumes to the park side reacts to Steiner’s differentiated development and intensifies the orientation towards the park. In the dynamic context of open and enclosed urban spaces, the project seeks not only a balance between urbanity and greenery, but also between classification and independent identity.

Boarding School, Glarus , 2012

Until 2001, the Legler site in Diesbach was an active location for yarn and cloth production. The buildings date from 1856 (weaving mill), 1870 (spinning mill), and 1919 (new spinning mill). A special feature is the factory’s own hydroelectric power station, which has ensured energy autonomy right from the start and is still in operation today. The current owner intends to convert the site for a second use. For this purpose, the building stock is analysed regarding its suitability as a boarding school. The idyllically secluded location and the proximity to various recreational areas (Braunwald ski area, Lake Walen), and good connections to the greater Zurich area (1h without changing trains since 2014) are important advantages of the location. Three typological floor plan layouts are verified: A) conventional classrooms along a central corridor, which can be combined in pairs in the sense of “team teaching”, B) a group room concept as is currently popular in public schools, and C) an innovative teaching concept with open, informal learning zones and so-called “break-out areas”. Depending on the educational concept, about 100 - 250 students could be taught at the boarding school on the Legler site.

WAZ Media Office, Essen , 2012

The current building structures of the Essen-based media group consist of a series of building complexes of various construction methods and quality. An office structure that has been used for many decades and leaves little room for communication, openness, flexibility, and spatial changes is no longer in keeping with the times and the creative work of the company’s employee. WAZ Media Group has therefore decided to relocate its current location at Friedrichstrasse in Essen. […] With the help of an architectural competition, WAZ Media Group is looking for new building concepts that […] enable an individual working environment with most economical operation. (Excerpt from the competition brief)

House Shmerling, Gossau , 2010

A single-family home in the style of the 1970s is renovated, extended, and divided into two units. In the “east wing”, a living hall is built at garden level, while the building’s original concrete structure remains visible. On the upper floor, French windows open up the south-facing rooms towards a sun terrace. The interiors in the “west wing” benefit from the extra high living space that opens up onto two private terraces after the conversion. The existing gallery will be reactivated and converted into a library with a wall of books stretching along its entire length. The building is thus transformed into a cubic-modern house without completely concealing the distinctive characteristics of its original structure.

Kronenwiese, Zurich , 2010, 9th prize

The three sides of the perimeter are characterised by very different urban hierarchies. The project derives its specific shape in dialogue with the site conditions. The strong building completes the streetscape, follows the topography and forms a new, self-confident face towards the intersection with Nordstrasse. The balance between independence and classification, between a new identity and the continuity of the city is sought. At the rear, there is a large open space, protected from the noise of Kornhausstrasse and with an unobstructed view towards Limmat and Uetliberg. The duality of these two different sides becomes the generator for an independent apartment typology with flowing room geometries and a “soft” loggia layer.

High-rise Buildings, Baden , 2009, 4th prize, special prize sustainability

ABB’s industrial area, which was formerly hermetically sealed off, is increasingly becoming the service area of the City of Baden. According to an existing area study, two high-rise buildings with space for about 2,600 jobs are to be created on the last available sites next to the SBB tracks. Ideas for the layout of the Brown Boveri Square on the southern part of the site are also requested. We design a service machine with an elegant dress. A superordinate scale is introduced through a fine relief of the façade envelope to counteract the repetition of storeys and the 1.35m grid. “Airboxes” are integrated into the façade on each floor to process and provide supply air locally. In this way, we avoid space-consuming central plant rooms and raiser zones. On the outside, the boxes harmoniously integrate into the façade appearance and become an ornamental sequin motif. Energy is generated by offset photovoltaic elements on the slightly sloping roof surfaces.

Spinning Mill and Twisting Mill, Windisch , 2010

The former spinning mill building in Windisch is about 70m long and 27m deep. With the most sparing interventions possible, we transform the former production site into housing space, which benefits from the existing qualities: a field of filigree steel columns, framed by solid brick façades. With cabinet elements and few partitions, the wide field is divided and given a homely feel. The fixtures thin out towards the physical building envelope to make room for an enfilade. The staircases each provide access to 4-6 apartments as well as interior workrooms and storerooms. The existing structure is exposed and contributes to the formation of an identity for these special apartments.

Storytelling, Basel , 2010

In a professional context, the development of an architectural idea has become more and more a weighing of different and sometimes contradictory constraints. The optimum solution is sought between standards, laws, and efficiency requirements. This rationally comprehensible optimisation process leads to an increasing standardisation of the built reality. This development of uniformity is opposed by a very human need: the desire for individualisation because behind every standardisation is the threat of exchangeability, of one’s own disappearance. In architecture, too, art begins for us where we depart from rules and well-known systems of ordering. As architects, we have the responsibility not only to take an engineering science perspective but also to search for immaterial needs that are difficult to express in figures. We are looking for answers that give identity to places and buildings, houses should once again tell stories.

Hohlweg, Rapperswil , 2010

The floor plans of the apartments are organised around a central circulation core with a naturally lit stairwell. From here, four or five apartments per floor are accessed. Despite the great depth of the building, almost all apartments are oriented towards two sides and thus benefit from the varied views to the depth of the outdoor area. The heart of the apartment is a spacious hall. Here, guests are greeted and shopping is put down, here is the telephone or a comfortable armchair to put on one’s shoes. The hall is more than just a distribution room; it is the centre around which all rooms are grouped. This means, for example, that a 3-room apartment has a fourth room instead of a cramped corridor. Versatile spatial and route relationships and an internal circuit combine functionality with a feeling of generosity.

Dosteba, Bachenbülach , 2007–2014

The production hall, where semi-finished products for thermal insulation systems are manufactured, is extended. The rapidly growing company takes the opportunity to restructure the cluster-like building and to reorganise the complex flows of materials and staff. The new office wing also serves as a roof over the delivery zone and internally connects the gallery floor of the production area with the offices and staff rooms.

Findling, Baden , 2011–2014, 1st prize

For an apartment building in Baden, we designed a cubic solitaire on a narrow, triangular plot on a slope, which defies the architectural context and anchors itself in the slope. There is no staircase; instead, three apartments are stacked in such a way that they each have their own entrance. Each apartment is based on a cruciform basic structure, which is, however, individually interpreted: On the ground floor, a family apartment with a large kitchen, terrace and garden is laid out. Above is a loft apartment with a magnificent view to the Limmat Valley, and the attic apartment is based on a room-to-room principle with an internal private patio.

Schwamending Triangle, Zurich , 2011

The modernisation of a cooperative “Gartenstadt” in Zurich-Schwamendingen is confronted with completely different requirement in view of the globalisation of the economy and individualisation of lifestyles than was the case at the beginning of the Gartenstadt more than 100 years ago. The idea of a “better” city for the working class on a greenfield site was reduced to a land reform just a few decades later. It is no longer a social utopian social model that shapes the housing concepts, but the provision of affordable living space with qualities such as light, air, sun, and lots of green for everyone. Unlike today, density was not seen as a quality but as a necessary evil to create affordable housing. In these respects, the garden cities are in no way different from the satellite cities of the ideological adversaries of programmatic modernity. We propose an architectural and open spatial structure that is based on a few fixed parameters but still leaves sufficient scope to keep strategic options open regarding “uncertain” issues. Essentially, the following parameters determine the urban development proposal:

  1. Urban development on a neighbourhood scale. Adequate staggering of building heights and density.
  2. Neighbourhood clusters as identity-forming, manageable social units.
  3. Participation and sustainable development. Planned change management.

Industriestrasse, Luzern , 2011

A heterogeneous and fragile development with a rectangular pattern is the starting point for the development focus on Industriestrasse. We see great qualities in this evolved structure and thus potential for future construction projects: the maximum possible permeability has to be maintained for the dense positioning of living and working next to and on top of one another. This is the only way for future users and residents to network with the structures of surrounding quarters. The concept is therefore principally based on a harmonious balance of figure and site. In the dense plinth zone, we create empty spaces, paths, and squares. Above it rises an “airy” living environment. The six towers take up the familiar density structure of the surrounding development. Two basic types are designed with three respectively four apartments sharing one circulation core, which allow the layout of apartments oriented to two or even three sides and a variety of visual connections.

Balberstrasse, Zurich , 2011

The new buildings are to blend into the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the existing residential development on Balberstrasse. The building mass consists of three low and four taller volumes, which adapt to the basic urban planning pattern and try to optimally deal with the hillside location. Their construction method is designed to include a high proportion of wood in order to meet the requirements of the “2000-watt society” in an ecologically and energetically sustainable manner. The distinctive roof shape and the generous loggias tie the ensemble together. A dense network of paths connects the individual houses at various levels of privacy and leads past the cooperative rooms, such as the common room or the studios. The loggias serve as a switching zone between public and private spaces and become a place to meet.

Beyond rational, Zurich , 2010

“Showing objects, projects, and ideas from young architects now practicing in Zurich, the exhibition hopes to highlight not only the emerging voices of design but also the thoughts and trajectories that have resulted from contemporary tools and techniques. Liberated from the prosaic constraints of typical construction projects, and the functionalism that often follows technology, the exhibited works chart relationships between technology and design, whether high- or low-tech, whether material or immaterial, to speculate beyond just the rational. Duplex Architekten present material and spatial studies for current architectural projects, the results of a sensibility that embeds architecture within a culture of making.” (Jeannette Kuo, Curator)

East Side, Windisch , 2010

On the site east of the old spinning mill in Windisch, the design of Atelier WW proposes four linear building plots for new residential buildings. We dare a free interpretation within the specifications of the master plan and form a separate inner centre, a courtyard for the quarter with private gardens, which spatially incorporates the spinning mill building. The building lines are divided into seven clearly defined individual volumes to avoid long alleys. Their strictly serial structure promises an economic implementation. Special attention is directed at the attic floor: four 4 ½-room maisonettes are interlocked in such a way that each apartment is oriented to three sides. Generous terraces connect the apartments with the expanse of the former industrial area and the adjacent river landscape.

Gleis Nord, Lenzburg , 2010

The Gleis Nord project creates a new heterogeneous living environment in Lenzburg, embedded in an attractive green belt. The design responds to the current urban planning situation—on the one hand, the marked outline of the quarter and, on the other hand, the large-scale development—and defines the area to the north and west with a clear, recognisable outer edge. Squares and retreats are laid out, the green area interweaves with the urban space and provides a high quality of living. The residential buildings feature an individual design and different typologies: The “Genossenschaftshaus”, for example, has one circulation core for three to five apartments per floor, and the living rooms extend into the park via loggias. The senior citizens’ home, on the other hand, has arcades; the arrangement and size of the rooms give the residents the freedom to expose themselves more or less to the adjoining communication area. The family apartments are extended by rentable studios, small apartments, and cooperative uses. The public parking area can be used equally by all residents. Furthermore, common rooms, public-oriented uses, restaurants, kindergartens, and launderettes liven up the ground floor zones.

Limmatfeld Town House, Dietikon , 2010

On the basis of Hans Kollhoff’s master plan, apartments for around 3,000 people are being built on the former premises of the machine manufacturer “Rapid”. For one of eleven building plots, the Zypressenhof, we designed a town house as part of the 18m deep block edge development. We focus on a perforated façade with a classic three-part structure. Smooth, shiny ceramic surfaces alternate with a coarse-grained plaster finish. Folding sliding shutters made of ornamentally lasered metal sheets close the openings of the loggias like a thin skin, thus creating an exterior room with great intimacy for the apartments. The loggias can be fully opened up towards the kitchen and bring the afternoon sun deep into the building via a dazzlingly reflective longitudinal wall. The floor plan combines conventional elements with generously proportioned, open-plan living areas.

Multigenerational House, Winterthur , 2009

The given urban development situation shows exciting contrasts: The hybrid cluster regulations define strong urban planning references, while the intended residential use demands independence due to its exemplary character.

The project responds to this original situation by having two buildings form a common courtyard that is comparable in size and shape to Steinberggasse. Without causing a severe break, the public outdoor space is juxtaposed with a semi-public interior. The iconographic shed roofs refer to the industrial past of the site, connect the two buildings, and create a strong common identity.

Up to 35, Athens , 2009

In favour of a generous common area that can be used flexibly, the actual sleeping cells are reduced to basic elements: a bed, a closet, a window, and a door. Retreat to a private area is also ensured on a limited floor area—for reading, talking, making phone calls, and daydreaming. The heart of the house is a six-metre high reading room in the basement, where each student occupies a place. The generous glazing on the ground floor allows concentrated work in daylight and simultaneously offers a view of the street. A free-standing staircase leads to the semi-private upper floors. A loggia in the courtyard expands the front zone to the rooms and creates its own internal world.

School Complex Looren, Maur , 2008, 3rd prize

A large roof lies over a kind of retaining wall like a shell. The functional rooms are grouped behind this wall. The foyer, which opens up onto the forecourt, occupies the space between hall and rear. The roof itself is designed as a folding support structure, which is visible on the inside. In the model, we have checked the rich play of light of the finely folded roof geometry.

Felsenstieg, Schaffhausen , 2008, 2nd prize

Instead of filling the gaps along Lochstrasse like a dentist, the building site is “overprinted” with a group of four congruent building volumes. Familiar building lengths of the existing 1920s Karl Moser houses are taken as a reference, without denying their own time. The free geometry of the volumes enables economic access and circulation via a generous central staircase. The spaces in-between spread out an open area that varies between wide zones with views and intimate, densely planted areas.

House Emil, Bachenbülach , 2007–2010

A single-family house on a slope is extended by a residential unit through maximum lengthwise expansion. Both inside and outside, new and old remain distinguishable, but the interface is blurred by spatial overlaps. The focal point of the new apartment is the extra high living space, which brings the existing gable facade into the interior. In the tradition of Loos, a series of rooms with different characters are integrated into the simple, iconographic building volumetry. Two connecting elements hold old and new together like a bracket: On the north side, the roof opens for a continuous window strip; in the south, a loggia extends along the entire length of the building. It interferes with the semantics of the existing building and reinterprets what already exists. The annexe is constructed as a self-supporting timber structure. The walls and ceilings are prefabricated and placed into the in-situ concrete shell. The concrete shell gives the building its distinctive expression. The concrete has a stony appearance due to the admixture of crushed Jura gravel and white cement. Without any colour pigmentation, a light, warm and natural shade is thus achieved. In addition to the smooth surfaces showing the formwork pattern, some parts are sandblasted. The subtle interplay of different surface textures makes familiar motifs appear or disappear, depending on the light.