The outstanding feature of this new building in the west of Zurich is the extreme precision with which the architectural design has been executed. The nearby Utogrund sports complex is bounded by a 54-metre long block, which adjoins the swimming pool built by Max Frisch to the north. This quiet stereometry lays the ground for further constituent features of the building. The openings that punctuate the brick walls are limited to a window-and-loggia format.
The thirty windows and loggias in the masonry bond of the standard floors lend the facades a consistent rhythm, irrespective of whether apartments or staircases are located behind them. The outcome is an architectural design of great clarity, which is emphasised by the details. The light window surrounds that frame the openings in the dark-coloured walls accentuate both the punctuation of the surface areas and the common architectural framework. The sensuous quality of the materials in this structure achieves a perfectly natural effect. What matters here is not the use of very expensive materials. If the architectural concept is coherent in itself, the quality of the render and the colour can be greatly enhanced.
What is true of the building’s external appearance can also be said of the interior. The apartments are each divided into three spatial zones, all of which give onto the loggia. As was the case in late 19th century apartments, this allows for ‘circulation’ within the suite of rooms, which – in contrast to the modern-day cubicle arrangement – emphasises the communal aspect of residential living.
Architect: baumschlager eberle
Client: Immobilien- und Vermögensverwaltungs
Planning: BE Zürich AG
Project architect: Nic Wallimann
Landscape architect: Bütikofer Schaffrath
Structural engineer: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer
Building physics: Reto Züger Ingenieur AG
Building technology: Amstein + Walthert AG
Lightplanning: Mettler+Partner AG
Site area: 1.942 m2
Area of building: 752 m²
Gross floor area: 1.898 m2
Net floor area: 1.405 m2
Building volume: 7.232 m³
Commencement of planning: 2010
Commencement of work: 2010
Photos: Roger Frei