New Kid on the Block

Floor Area incl. basement
9'800 m²
Study Period

Within the framework of a test planning, BHSF was commissioned as one of three offices to develop a proposal for the development of an area in a medium-sized swiss city with a replacement building.

The clear layout of the existing ensemble is currently contrasted by an unclear use and zoning of the spaces. For example, front zones are missing, cannot be clearly assigned or are mixed with public access areas. In addition, sealed surfaces dominate the appearance and there is no place to linger. The parcel, from its urban position the natural prelude to the area, does not create an inviting gesture at the moment with its building and outdoor space design and does not serve orientation.

In principle, however, the position and also the structure of the two buildings (orthogonality, north-south oriented arcade) is appropriate for the site and forms a good transition to the surrounding structure of a modernist “garden city”. What is missing is an opening situation that intuitively guides and structures the building, as well as the design of the exterior. The proposed replacement building represents a careful intervention in the urban structure of the area. It works with the logic of the existing building and complements it with a new point structure that functions as a hinge between the two buildings. This creates a complement of linear oriented apartments with a new typology (all-round living), generates a higher density, and creates a clear entrance to the neighborhood with a strong accent.

The social space analysis and also the on-site observation show that a common meeting point and orientation point in the neighborhood is necessary and desired. This should represent a hinge function between the settlement and the surrounding urban fabric and contain an extension of the current offer. The socio-spatial concept is based on a combination of four components: Shopping, Community, Mobility and Gardening. These four very important neighborhood functions are offered and linked via the public outdoor space.