Refurbishment of the Herdern High-rise Building

The slab-shaped high rise in western Zurich is part of the Herdern Migros headquarters, which opened in 1965 and is now listed as an industrial heritage site. Over the years, the brick facade of the 17-storey building has become weatherworn and is undergoing comprehensive refurbishment. The urban and preservation context as well as the building’s proportions are particularly significant in this respect.

The work comprises the static and energetic renovation, including HVAC renewal. On the shorter sides, the load-bearing structure is being reinforced, while the existing brick facades and parapets will be replaced and thermally insulated all around. The new fair-faced masonry walls resemble the old ones in brick format, texture and colour. New aluminium windows with triple insulation glazing meet the thermal and acoustic specifications. Inside, the ribbed concrete ceilings of the office spaces will be uncovered and will serve as temperature buffer. They create a workshop-like atmosphere that matches the industrial history and aesthetic of the building.

The setback top storey, surrounded by a roof terrace, houses an executive board room. The entire space, along with the small kitchen, will be refurbished and offers panoramic views of Zurich West and the Alps.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Refurbishment of the listed office high-rise building (built in 1965 by the architects Hans Vogelsanger, Ernst Scharzenbach, Albert Maurer),
19 floors (1 underground, 18 above ground), 500 workplaces, seminar rooms

Competition 2018, 1st Prize Gigon/Guyer Architekten and WaltGalmarini

Planning/Construction 2019–2023

Client Genossenschaft Migros Zurich

Gross Floor Area 9‘948 m2

Team G/G Planning/Execution: Stefan Thommen (Team Manager), Urs Meyer (Project Manager), Milica Brockmann, Andy Gratwohl, Arend Kölsch, Pieter Rabijns, Urh Urbancic, Luisa Wittgen, Nathalie Reiz (I), Jannis Poncelet (I)
Competition: Stefan Thommen, Filippo Cattaneo, Vladimir Dianiska, Milica Brockmann, Mickael Minghetti (I), Michelle Feige (I)

Site Management Spiegel + Partner AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Lorenz Eugster Landschaftsarchitektur und Städtebau Gmbh, Zurich

Cost Planning/Scheduling Spiegel + Partner AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Eplan AG, Reinach

Building Physics Engineer WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich

Fire Safety Migros Engineering Solutions, MGB, Zurich

Heating/Cooling Concept-G AG, Winterthur

Ventilation Engineer Concept-G AG, Winterthur

Acoustical Engineer WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich

Plumbing Concept-G AG, Winterthur

Sprinkler Consultant Banzer Beratung & Planung AG, Wil

Facade Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Door Consultant Batishield AG, Rüti

Other RDA: Enfors AG, Sempach

Photos Seraina Wirz, Zurich
Luca Zanier (Baustelle)
Tom Licht (Drohnenaufnahme)


Extension Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop «Josef-Albers-Galerie»

Awards 2023
– Architekturpreis 2023 BDA (Bund Deutscher Architekten) Vest Recklinghausen Gelsenkirchen
– Arc Award 2023, Winning project


A two-story wing has been added to the “Josef Albers Museum Quadrat”, situated in Bottrop’s historical park Stadtgarten. It accommodates temporary exhibitions and additional space for museum education, art storage and the workshop.

The new structure is situated to the northeast of the judge’s villa from 1913 and the museum buildings by Bernhard Küppers from the 1970s and ‘80s, which form the existing ensemble. The shape, materials and colours of the extension were chosen so that the different construction periods and their respective architectures remain legible but nonetheless form a new harmonic whole. The added volume has a rectangular footprint like the historical villa and is offset from the adjacent wing in such a way as to preserve the trees and the views to the north-east from the existing rooms. The pond, which was created after the last construction phase in the 1980s, has been moved a few metres closer to the access road, thus enhancing its presence.

Contrasting with Küppers’s steel and glass pavilions, the new extension appears as a compact structure with only a few deliberately placed openings, while its materials and colours refer to the older buildings. A cladding of powder-coated metal panels envelops the volume and forms a brim around the sawtooth rooflights. Along the outermost rooflight, the cladding tilts forward and generates a light funnel. In a similar fashion, the north-western facade partly unfolds to create a protected outdoor delivery area.

The ground floor on the Stadtgarten level contains the workshop, the art depot, an office and the library as well as the two educational rooms. The latter are accessed via the exhibition level and are oriented towards the pond.

Museum visitors enter the new tract via a connecting bridge from which a window affords a view of the park. The trapezoidal plan of the bridge makes it seem longer upon arrival and shorter on the way back.

The path through the eight exhibition rooms of varying dimensions is partly meandering and partly straight. Four large windows, one on each side of the building, enable visitors to enjoy vistas of the park, and passers-by to look into the museum. The works of art are largely illuminated from above by the sawtooth rooflights. The spatial proportions, the door and window openings, as well as the surface materials are selected to foster the perception of the art. Art takes priority: it has not simply been given more room in the extension; it has also been given “breathing space”.

Location Bottrop, Germany

Programme 8 exhibition rooms for temporary exhibitions, Park level: Museum education, art depot, workshop, material storage, specialist library, office, building services, deliveries

Competition 2016, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2016–2022
ARGE Josef Albers Museum Quadrat,
Joint venture of Gigon/Guyer and pbr

Client City of Bottrop, Department of Real Estate Management
Occupant: Josef Albers Museum . Quadrat Bottrop

Gross Floor Area 1‘996 m2

Team G/G Competition: Stefan Thommen, Sarah Haubner, Daniel Hurschler Planning/Construction: Pieter Rabijns (Team Manager), Philippe Volpe

Site Management pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Landscape Architecture Büro Drecker, Bottrop, Germany

Structural Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Electrical Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Building Services Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Building Physics Engineer a°blue GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

Fire Safety Das Ingenieurhaus Borgert Keller Witte, Bornheim, Germany

Acoustical Engineer a°blue GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

Lighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik, Stuttgart, Germany

Other Project Management: Kempen Krause Ingenieure GmbH, Cologne office, Germany

Photos Stefan Müller, Berlin, Germany

Film Severin Kuhn, Zurich

Address Anni-Albers-Platz 1 46236 Bottrop, Deutschland

Awards Arc Award 2023, winning project
Architekturpreis 2023 BDA (Bund Deutscher Architekten) Vest Recklinghausen Gelsenkirchen, Award


Adaption Room Acoustics – Auditorium, University of Zurich

In the course of modernizing the audio-visual equipment at the University of Zurich, the technology of the 20-year-old underground auditorium in the Karl Moser building was renewed. At the same time, some of the flat wall panels were replaced with slotted ones, thereby again improving the room’s acoustics. The artist Adrian Schiess, who had developed the initial colour concept for the auditorium, adapted the scheme for the new panels. The finish was coated with a translucent, silvery chrome paint, augmenting the mirroring effect and the festive appeal. The colour depth and reflections vary depending on the observer’s position in the hall.

The work was completed by the beginning of the autumn term 2021. The next step will be to refurbish the shallow pool above the auditorium, which is an integral part of the whole project. The inside moulding and colour coating will be renewed.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Auditorium, 500 seats

Commission 2020

Planning/Construction 2020–2021

Client University of Zurich

Team G/G Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architekten (künstlerische Oberbauleitung) Collaborators: Auditorium: Pieter Rabijns
Water basin: Stefan Thommen

Contact architects Burkhard & Lüthi Architektur GmbH, Zurich

Cost Planning/Scheduling Bühler & Oettli AG, Zurich

Acoustical Engineer Applied Acoustics GmbH, Gelterkinden

Colours Adrian Schiess, Zurich

Other Paint treatment: Paints and Arts Rolf Pfenninger, Schlieren

Photos © Seraina Wirz

Office High-rise Andreasturm

The office high-rise Andreasturm is situated on a triangular plot of land that has become available between the spread of railway tracks at Oerlikon station. The pentagonal tower, the property of the Swiss Federal Railways, is 80 m high, with 22 above-ground and four below-ground storeys.

Precisely placed cantilevers on the 12th floor divide the building into a middle and a head section, making it look slender or flat from a distance, depending on one’s vantage point.

An expansive base anchors the structure in its surroundings and opens it up on three levels. The main entrance with public facilities and a small, new plaza face the traffic-calmed Andreasstrasse. The premises of anchor tenant Amstein + Walthert are accessed directly from the higher railroad platform while the delivery entrance is on the lower street to the rear.

A well-appointed, double-height lobby welcomes tenants and visitors, who reach the upper stories via the lift lobby. An open staircase leads up to the first floor and the main tenant‘s reception desk. The tenant’s public spaces are arranged around a central core: a “piano nobile” with conference rooms, a gallery and a staff restaurant in the protruding portion of the base.

The skeleton of the high-rise is reinforced concrete with a double-shell element façade. Flat slabs span up to 9.30 meters between the core and the prefabricated concrete supports along the façade. The column-free spaces allow for flexible layouts and workplaces with natural daylight. The double-shell façade consists of an inner layer with slender windows that can be individually opened, and exterior glazing with horizontal parapet bands, into which copper and gold coloured inlays have been laminated, their tone varying to match the angled surfaces of the façade. The appearance of the building changes depending on the weather and lighting: at times, the tower may look like a flat, reflecting surface; at others, one can see the filigree vertical structure of the interior.

Location Zurich-Oerlikon, Switzerland

Programme 26-storey office building (4 underground, 22 above ground), 1,200 workplaces, offices, conference area, restaurant, retail, underground parking
Tenants: engineering office, medical centre, start-ups, university institutes

Competition 2-phase, 2013, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2013–2018

Client SBB AG, Zurich
EBP Schweiz AG, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 35‘517 m2

Team G/G Planning/ Construction: Stefan Thommen (Team Manager), Matthias Clivio (Project Manager basic construction), Luisa Wittgen (Project Manager tenant fitout), Christoph Lay, Nicolas Hunkeler, Christian Gammeter
Competition: Stefan Thommen, Mathias Rösner, Rodrigo Jorge, Thomas Möckel, Leyla Ilman

Site Management Ghisleni Planen und Bauen GmbH, Zurich (until Submission)

Total Contractor Implenia (from Submission)

General Contractor GGG Gigon Guyer Ghisleni Generalplaner Andreasturm AG (until Submission/ SIA Subphase 5)

Landscape Architecture Studio Vulkan, Zurich

Structural Engineer WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik, Zurich

MSRL Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Heating/Cooling Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Ventilation Engineer Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Acoustical Engineer BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik, Zurich

Lighting Consultant Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zurich
tenant fitout: A+W: Reflexion AG, Zurich

Facade Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Sustainability «DGNB Platin»

Interior Design tenant fitout A+W: Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architekten, Zurich
Trix Wetter, Zurich

Signage Integral Ruedi Baur, Zurich

Photos © Roman Keller

Housing Development, Färberei-Areal

Four new buildings were planned for the site of the former “Färberei”, or textiledyeing factory, to be constructed in successive stages in order to establish an ensemble together with the refurbished “Blue Factory”. This former industrial area is thus gradually developing into an urban residential, commercial, and office district. The elongated, cubic buildings are set into the hillside like a fan, creating flowing interim spaces that expand to form plazas. The colors of the buildings were developed during the various construction phases in collaboration with the artist Harald F. Müller.

House 1

In the long, five-story House 1, constructed parallel to the steep slope that descends down to the lake, 35 apartments are arranged in a variable mix of 3.5 to 7.5 rooms. The two floors adjacent to the Blue Factory hold flexibly dividable office spaces, while a day-care center is provided on the ground floor.

A characteristic of the single-story apartments is the arrangement of the rooms around a central living and dining area, with a connection to the kitchen. Each apartment possesses two loggias that are integrated into the building volume and extend the continuous living space toward the lake and to the south. Floor-toceiling windows enhance the sense of spaciousness. These let southern light into the rooms and provide vistas over Lake Zurich to the north and the lakeshore opposite. The outdoor spaces in the penthouses are designed as large patios that not only open to the façade, but also to the sky. Due to the hillside location, the typology changes to duplex apartments on the two lower floors. Here, the daytime area with living and dining rooms and kitchen extends over the entire depth of the upper floor, while the nighttime area with bedrooms facing the lake is situated on the ground floor.

The grid pattern of the monolithic load-bearing exposed concrete structure defines the exterior. The concrete surfaces of the façade are washed in white, while a metallic note is introduced for the components in the façade openings: in the wood-aluminum window frames, in the blinds, and in the glass parapets’ subtly reflective surfaces. Glossy silver paint was used for the elevator cores, while the concrete walls of the staircases are painted a matt yellow-green in some areas, and treated with a transparent glaze in others.

House 2 and 3

In the concluding phase of development, two further buildings, with a small park set in front, will complete the ensemble in the northwestern part of the site. In house 2 the emphasis is on smaller, low-cost rental apartments for families, while house 3 focuses on providing housing suitable for older people.

In order to make the most of the sunny southwestern side of the building, which is however exposed to noise, single-story apartments were created for house 2 with a living, cooking, and dining area that runs through the entire depth of the building but which is set at an angle. This floor plan produces a varied assortment of 48 apartments ranging in size from 2.5 to 4.5 rooms. The bathrooms, ancillary areas, and circulation cores are arranged in the central part of each apartment, dividing the living area into two spaces of equal size and hence offering flexible use. In the eastern part of the building the upward slope of the site makes it possible to offer duplex apartments on the ground floor. At the western tip of the building, facing the square, rooms for public use are incorporated into the design.

The compact footprint of house 3 allows for five 2.5- to 5.5-room apartments on each floor. Two apartments are open to the exterior on one side, facing southwest, and two wrap around the corner of the building on the southeast side. The fifth apartment, oriented toward three sides, is located on the northwest side of the building. This floor-plan configuration, incorporating apartments of differing sizes on each floor, coupled with a care facility at ground level, responds primarily to the needs of older residents.

The exterior of both residential blocks uses light beige and pebble-gray glazes. These subdued tones are complemented by brighter colors in the interior stairwells, which are lit from above via skylights.

House 5

A site in the southwestern portion of the plot, near the railway tracks and sloping down on two sides, was chosen for a six-story building with eleven condominiums. A range of variously configured single-level units was developed for this building, complemented by specially designed penthouse and duplex apartments. On the upper floors the apartments open to the exterior on three, or even four, sides, affording vistas both over the lake and to the mountain panorama in the south. Due to the steep slope of the site, the apartments on the lower stories are open only on the side facing the lake to the northeast. The design nonetheless incorporates generously proportioned outside areas for all apartments: the two upper apartments enjoy large roof terraces thanks to the slanted form of the building volume, while elsewhere in the building the apartments include either one or two loggias depending on size. In addition, the two ground-level apartments have external seating areas.

Accentuating the play of light in the stairwell, the inner-facing longitudinal wall is painted gold from the top to the bottom of the building, complemented in the entrance area by a pink-painted portion on the facing wall. The load-bearing monolithic exposed concrete façade structure is finished in a brown glaze, while all cutouts in the building volume and all façade openings, loggias, and roof terraces are left unpainted. A subtle golden anodized finish is utilized on the exterior for the wood and aluminum window frames.

Location Thalwil, Switzerland

Programme 114 apartments with partly public uses, offices, underground parking, 190 parking spaces
House 1: 5-storey new building, 35 apartments with 3.5–7.5 rooms, 900 m2 of flexibly divisible office space on two floors
House 2 & 3: Two 5-storey new buildings, House 2: 48 apartments with 2.5–4.5 rooms
House 3: 20 apartments with 2.5–5.5 rooms, ground floor: space for public use
House 5: 6-storey new building, 11 condominiums, 3.5–6.5 rooms

Competition 1998, 1st Prize

Commission House 2 & 3: 2008

Planning/Construction House 1 & 5: 2005–2008
House 2 & 3: 2008–2012

Client House 1: Weidmann Management AG, Thalwil
House 2 & 3: Ornak AG, Thalwil
House 5: Lerch Immobilien AG, Winterthur

Gross Floor Area Total: 31'033 m2
House 2: 10‘650 m2
House 3: 4‘450 m2
House 5: 3'183 m2
House 1: 12'750 m2

Team G/G Michael Winklmann (Team Manager)
House 2 & 3: Cornelia Schmidt (Projekt Manager from 2010), Lucía Gratz, Anna Dreykluft, Ingo Brinkmann, Daniela Bergmann, Martin Schiess, Meret Morgenthaler, Martin Bischofberger, Christoph Dober, Alex Zeller, Griet Aesaert, Daniel Trepte
House 5: Ilka Tegeler (Projekt Manager), Ingo Brinkmann, Reto Killer
House 1: Esther Righetti, Marius Baumann, Stine Henckel Schultz, Hiroaki Tanaka

Total Contractor House 1: Karl Steiner AG, Zurich
House 2 & 3: HRS Real Estate AG, Zurich
House 5: AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf, Zurich

Structural Engineer House 1 & 5: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich
House 2 & 3: Synaxis AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer House 1 & 5: Elkom Partner AG, Chur
Haus 2 & 3: R+B engineering AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer HL Technik, Schaffhausen

Building Physics Engineer Wichser Akustik & Bauphysik AG, Zurich

Colours Harald F. Müller, Öhningen, Germany

Photos House 1: © Lucas Peters
House 2, 3, 5: © Thies Wachter

House 1

House 2 and 3

House 5

Two Houses in Zurich

Building upon the steep, former garden with compact volumes follows the pattern of the neighbouring detached houses and apartment buildings from the first half of the 20th century. An access ramp as wide as the house, forming a forecourt and space for parking, connects each respective building with the street above. The houses are not specifically tailored to the current owners; rather, they are buildings universal in nature that could also just as easily operate for other living conditions and inhabitants. They can be separated into two duplex apartments of nearly equal size, or they allow – within the current spatial order – the use of a separate small apartment. Further space divisions or the installation of an elevator are also possible.

In the interior, it is a case of raw structure throughout. The walls and ceilings are covered with a skim-coated white plaster, though left unpainted. The “floorings” are made of sealed gypsum subflooring (anhydrite). Wide sliding doors made from wooden panels allow variations in the spatial relationships.

The load-bearing construction consists of concrete floor slabs, masonry, and concrete walls below grade. The exterior stucco, applied to the mineral based insulation, is simply a base screed layer of lime cement. The way of applying the stucco with a broom – indeed, with the structure of a base layer - underlines the sense of rough construction and, in addition, is able to give expression to the “textile-like” character of the facade's construction.

Large windows with black metal frames are set into the facade like grand “optical instruments”. Towards the west, where one has a view of the city, they are placed in a dense row, while they appear solitarily on the remaining facades. The recessed roof level opens up to the terraces with large window fronts in aluminium. In contrast to the complex, dark, lime cement colour tones of the stucco, the protective coating on the wooden surfaces of the doors and gates is kept in clear, glowing spectral colours.

Like the former allotment gardens, the garden remains planted with fruit and nut trees. Field grasses are seeded inbetween. In the steeper, western part of the parcel, hazelnut and blackberry bushes continue the moderate wilderness in a nearly unchanged form.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Two detached houses, each with a secondary annex

Feasibility Study 1995, 1st Prize ex aequo

Planning/Construction 1997–1998

Client private

Gross Floor Area House A: 476 m2
House B: 473 m2

Team G/G Annette Gigon, Mike Guyer, Michael Widrig (Project Manager), Michael Bucher

Site Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Collaborator: Michael Widrig

Landscape Architecture Dieter Kienast, Thomas Steinmann, Zurich

Structural Engineer Aerni + Aerni Ingenieure AG, Zurich

Colours Harald F. Müller, Öhningen, Germany

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

Awards Auszeichnung für gute Bauten der Stadt Zürich, 2001

Würth Haus Rorschach

A greenish crystalline building responds to the unusual location of the site, set between the edge of Lake Constance and Churerstrasse. Walkers and passers-by experience a glass structure that oscillates between transparency and shiny reflective surfaces that multiply the natural beauty of the setting. The architecture affords views out to the surroundings, glimpses into the building, and sightlines through it to the park and lake.

The interior offers staff and visitors generously proportioned sequences of rooms - workspaces, communication areas, and leisure zones - as well as providing space for product presentations and art exhibitions. The structure responds to the train station building with lower volumes and reacts to the expanses of the park and lake with a higher segment. There are plans to add an extension on the eastern side in a future phase of construction. Toward the street, the volumes give shape to a range of external spaces through precisely defined projections and setbacks: in the middle is the entrance area, to the east the vehicle access and workshop zone, and to the west Bahnhofsplatz, the station square, which is expanded toward the lake. Maple trees set in a perpendicular configuration characterize this space, and also continue as rows along Churerstrasse.

Approaching from the station, a broad canopy signals the main entrance. The various user groups - visitors, people attending courses, and company staff - enter the building through a large lobby and are guided from this point to the different parts of the building. On the ground floor and first floor, the public functions - training and conference rooms, as well as the restaurant - are grouped around a foyer with an open courtyard in the center and are linked by a sweeping stairway. Both the conference area and the separate exhibition spaces can be accessed directly from the exterior, allowing the option of using these areas independently from the rest of the building. The exhibition area guides visitors from the entrance to two different-sized exhibition rooms, which are located on the first floor of the southern part of the building and are naturally lit from above. The structure of the shed skylight over the exhibition spaces simultaneously supports the enormous projecting canopy over the entrance. Office space extends over four stories in the highest part of the building, which is not open to the general public. Informal meeting areas with balconies facing the lake, transparent or closed-off meeting rooms, and individual offices alternate here with open-plan office areas.

A double glass envelope encases the building. The inner layer is made up of triple glazing and metal-clad thermal insulation. The external, back-ventilated layer is composed of offset greenish glass panes equipped with a fine mesh insert with a metallic luster. This creates a rhythmically articulated glass curtain that provides protection against wind from the lake and noise from the street and also against excessive heat and cold. The predominance of glass in the building materials is continued on the roof in the form of CIS photovoltaic panels.

Location Rorschach, Switzerland

Programme Administration Building with Training and Conference Centre, 630-seat auditorium, museum, restaurant, cafeteria, hardware-shop, workshops

Competition 2009, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2009–2013

Client Würth International AG, Chur
Owner's representative: Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG, Chur

Gross Floor Area 32'200 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Team Manager), Matthias Clivio (Project Manager), Nicolai Rünzi, Christoph Lay, Katja Fröhlich, Rus Carnicero, Yvonne Grunwald, Martin Schneider, Michael Kloiber, Brigitte Rüdel, Franziska Bächer
Competition: Luisa Wittgen, Nicolai Rünzi, Bettina Gerhold, Thomas Möckel, Matthias Clivio

Site Management Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG, Chur

Landscape Architecture Atelier Girot, Gockhausen

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Bühler + Scherler AG, St.Gallen

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Building Physics Engineer Kopitsis Bauphysik AG, Wohlen

Fire Safety Makiol + Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See

MSRL Boxler MSRL Engineering, Jona

Ventilation Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Acoustical Engineer Müller-BBM GmbH, Planegg, Germany

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Licht Zentrale, Nürnberg, Germany

Plumbing Tomaschett + Cioce AG, Rorschach

Facade Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Colours (partial) Harald F. Müller, Oehningen, Germany

Photos © Thies Wachter
© Shinkenchiku-sha, Tokyo

Address Churerstrasse 10, CH – 9400 Rorschach

Housing Development Zellweger-Areal

The Zellweger complex, set on a former industrial site, boasts outstanding landscape features. Two large ponds, originally created to generate energy from hydropower, a stretch of river, and a park-like area with mature trees define the site. The site is demarcated by the pond Zellweger-Weiher and the Aabach stream. Two residential buildings of differing heights are positioned here in alignment with the promenade of plane trees by the pond in the north and the tree-lined course of the stream in the southeast. The two buildings create an L-shaped green area between them, opening up to the west onto a group of trees and an existing high-rise office building.

Broad paths lead to the buildings through the open garden area, beneath which the garage is located. Pines are planted on the gently contoured lawn like green sculptures. The private front gardens at ground level are set off from the public green areas with spruce wood fences. These are framed by open, elegant concrete structures that also provide parking spaces for bicycles and contain mailboxes and shafts providing natural ventilation for the underground garage.

The northern eight-story building along Weiherallee contains 74 rental apartments, a bistro, two nurseries and a day care club. The building on the new Zellwegerweg, set along the Aabach, ranges from three to five stories in height and houses 61 rental apartments along with a multi-purpose common room. Most of the apartments in both buildings have living/dining/kitchen areas that extend through the building, opening onto both the green inner courtyard and the pond or stream. The principle of the living/dining room extending from front to back was articulated differently in the two buildings. In the building on Zellwegerweg the space narrows in the middle to form an entrance area and then widens again to either side to form distinct zones for the living room and eat-in kitchen at opposite ends of the apartment. The rooms are arranged around the periphery of this central space. In the building on Weiherallee the entrance area provides access to the rooms and leads to the living/dining room that runs across the apartment. The subtle angling of the balconies offers outdoor areas of varying depths and provides a formal echo to the large-scale angled sections of the two buildings, adding a lively and sculptural touch to the volumes of these two housing ensembles.

The façades are articulated by layers of rhythmically offset thermally modified spruce wood planks and openwork prefabricated concrete parapets, which protrude somewhat beyond the wooden cladding to protect it from the weather. On the balconies, the concrete band projects further forward to form the parapet.

Location Uster, Switzerland

Programme Two structures in a parkway with 135 apartments, common room, bistro, day care, two nurseries, two underground parkings 149 pitches

Competition 2008, 1. Preis

Planning/Construction 2009–2013

Client Zellweger Park AG, Uster
Client’s Representative: Odinga und Hagen AG, Uster

Gross Floor Area 24‘713 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Markus Seiler (Team Manager from 02/2011), Caspar Bresch (Team Manager until 02/2011), Daniela Schadegg (Project Manager), Philippe Volpe, Martin Feichtner, Lena Ehringhaus, Kristin Sasama, Karin Winklmann
Competition: Daniel Friedmann, Reto Killer, Eric Sommerlatte, Karsten Buchholz

Site Management b+p baurealisation ag, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Hager Partner AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer Mühlebach Partner AG, Wiesendangen

Art within Architecture Lutz / Guggisberg

Photos © Shinkenchiku-sha
© Roman Keller

Awards Architektur Preis Kanton Zürich 2016 – Zellweger Park, Uster
Baupreis 2013 des Architektur Forum Zürcher Oberland

Detached House on Zürichberg

The current residential building replaces a pair of 1940s semi-detached houses. The building volume is widened with three projecting sections and forms terraces through setbacks on the top level.

Two residential units have been created on four floors: a small apartment, which opens onto a front garden on the lowest floor, and a large apartment that extends over the remaining floors.

A cut-out volume on the ground floor forms the entrance area. Here a circuit connects the entry hall with the living room, the two-story dining room, and the kitchen. The double-height dining area extends up to the first floor, which is divided into two sleeping areas, each with separate bathrooms – one private area and one for guests, with scope to separate off the latter space with sliding doors. Above this, on the top floor, two similar rooms are used as study and library, each featuring its own terrace.

A central stairway structures the space; an angled stair winds between the walls to the lowest floor, and a straight stair with a deeper first step emerges from the fireplace and kitchen block and leads upwards. The upper staircase leading up to the rooftop terrace is lent transparency by offset cut-outs in the risers.

Dark oak windows, with separate ventilation sashes behind curtain-like latticework, frame and structure the range of differently proportioned openings in the various rooms. In the interior, the doors, built-in furniture, and bookshelves, in dark oak veneer or glossy white paint, complement the spatial ambience created by the chalk-colored cast concrete floors and the cream tone of the walls with their white lazure. The outer layer of the double concrete shell is also executed in beige limestone concrete. Some of the surfaces were heavily sandblasted, while others were left with a smooth formed finish.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Single-family house

Commission 2008

Planning/Construction 2008–2011

Client private

Gross Floor Area 569 m2

Team G/G Markus Seiler (Team/Project Manager), Kristin Sasama, Adréanne Pochon

Site Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects
in collaboration with Witzig Architekten GmbH, Zurich

Structural Engineer Aerni + Aerni Ingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer Wichser Akustik + Bauphysik AG, Zurich

Photos © Thies Wachter

Housing Complex Villa Pax

Location Baden, Switzerland

Programme Two houses, 7 owner-occupied apartments, underground parking 15 pitches

Competition 2008, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2008–2011

Client private
Client's Representative: AK Bautreuhand, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 2‘275 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Pit Brunner (Team/ Project Manager), Daniela Schadegg, Christoph Dober, Brigitte Rüdel
Feasibility Study: Nicolai Rünzi, Ivana Vukoja, Karsten Buchholz

Site Management Witzig Architekten, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Balliana Schubert Landschaftsarchitekten AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer MWV Bauingenieure AG, Baden

Electrical Engineer P. Keller + Partner AG, Baden

Building Services Engineer Nanotech AG, Baden

Building Physics Engineer Mühlebach Akustik + Bauphysik, Wiesendangen

Photos © Pit Brunner