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

Refurbishment of Former Diagonal Industrial Building, Maag-Areal

The Diagonal building, the former Maag cogwheel factory, has been preserved as a fascinating architectural testament to the site’s industrial past. The load-bearing structure and the façades have been carefully revitalized. the surviving slender glazing bars were restored and are complemented by insulating glazing on the interior. The Diagonal building contains a restaurant on the ground floor and gallery spaces on the upper floors.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Listed industrial building, with restaurant in the ground floor, art galleries, offices

Competition 2004, 1st Prize

Client Swiss Prime Site AG, Olten
Client’s Representative: Perolini Baumanagement AG, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 2‘759 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Stefan Thommen (Team- and Project Manager) Pieter Rabijns (Project Manager), Alex Zeller, Urs Meyer, Raffaella Bisceglia
Competition: Stefan Thommen

Total Contractor ARGE Prime Tower
Losinger Construction AG and Karl Steiner, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Cost Planning/Scheduling Building Project/General Contractor Submission: b+p baurealisation ag, Zurich

Structural Engineer Competition (C): Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG, Zug
Submission (S): Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG, Zug and Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer AG, Zurich and Freihofer & Partner AG, Zurich
Execution (E): Walt + Galmarini AG, Zurich with Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG, Zug, Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer AG, Zurich, Bänzinger Partner AG, Richterswil, Freihofer & Partner AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer S: IBG Graf AG, St.Gallen
E: Hefti Hess Martingnoni, Zurich

Fire Safety S: Makiol + Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See
E: Gruner AG, Basel with Makiol + Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See

Heating/Cooling S/E: PB P. Berchtold, Sarnen

Ventilation Engineer C/S: Waldhauser AG, Münchenstein
A: Hans Abicht AG, Zurich

Plumbing S: PB P. Berchtold, Sarnen
E: GRP Ingenieure, Rotkreuz

Sprinkler Consultant S: PB P. Berchtold, Sarnen
E: GRP Ingenieure, Rotkreuz

Photos © Valentin Jeck
© Walter Mair
© Thies Wachter

Awards Auszeichnung für gute Bauten der Stadt Zürich 2011–2015

Extension/Renovation of Historical Villa, Kastanienbaum

The existing, late Neoclassical villa was built in 1860 in the Italian country-house style as a summer residence within a large park overlooking Lake Lucerne. It is thought to be the work of Xaver Waller. In 1927, the villa’s interior was extensively altered and an extension was built to house the kitchen.

For the villa’s current owner, a remodeling project was developed involving various degrees of intervention. The modifications ranged from cleaning, the removal of wallpaper, repairs and restorations, to a series of individual, explicitly dialectical interventions, and finally the replacement of the kitchen annex with a new building. However, the decision was made not to reconstruct the spatial and structural characteristics of the original building.

Proposed restoration involved repairing the sandstone window surrounds, sanding and oiling the parquet flooring, and transforming some single-glazed windows into double-glazed ones using the existing wooden frames and glass. Of special note is the small room in the tower. Stripped of wallpaper, the walls here exhibited such a remarkable patina, along with a number of pencil drawings made by previous workers, that it was decided not to renovate them.

Selective interventions included the construction of a brass fireplace in the large salon and the installation of a chrome steel kitchen unit in the center of the former small salon. The renovation of the bathrooms (the original positions of which were retained) likewise belongs in this category. They were furnished with new fittings, oak flooring, and walls of etched mirrors. In the large bathroom a freestanding bathtub was specially commissioned.

The most radical intervention was the demolition of the kitchen annex, which was in poor repair. Replacing it is a garage with adjacent workshop. The annex building, the roof of which serves as a terrace, is accessible from both the house and the garden. Trellises cover the walls of the single-story concrete structure and continue up above the roof, forming a pavilion over the terrace. In this way, the annex acquires dimensions and proportions in keeping with those of the villa. Architectural features typical of nineteenth-century villa gardens, such as gazebos and coach houses, are in a sense interwoven in this structure and physically connected with the house. The villa, annex, and grounds are also linked in terms of color: the green of the villa’s sandstone is echoed in the colored concrete, and the olive-green hues of the trellis match the greenery of the park.

Location Kastanienbaum, Switzerland

Programme Private residence; restoration of the existing villa: salon with fireplace, office with furniture, bedrooms, renovation of kitchen and bathroom
Extension: garage with workshop/studio, the roof of which serves as a terrace

Commission 2002

Planning/Construction 2002–2004

Client private

Gross Floor Area 1'070 m2

Team G/G Barbara Schlauri (Project Manager)

Site Management Ruoss Witzig Architekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Bühlmann Engineering AG, Luzern

Building Services Engineer 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Photos © Lucas Peters

Awards Schweizer Denkmalpreis der Konferenz der Schweizer Denkmalpflegerinnen und Denkmalpfleger, 2009

Remodeling of the Kunstmuseum Basel and Laurenzbau Library

The expansion of the Kunstmuseum Basel into the neighboring former bank building enabled important improvements to be made to the spatial organization of the museum building and allowed additional exhibition space to be created. Both historic buildings – the Kunstmuseum, constructed in 1936 by the architects Rudolf Christ and Paul Bonatz, and the Laurenzbau, formerly home to the Nationalbank and built in 1926 by the architects Suter & Burckhardt – were in need of structural modifications in several areas in order to fulfill their new functions. The plan to build an extension for temporary exhibitions, as considered during the 2001 competition, was abandoned.

The character and extent of the various restructuring measures ranged from the creation of new spatial relationships to the reconstruction of original conditions, and also included light restorative retouching. The reconstruction work was carried out in various stages in order not to disrupt the functioning of the museum.

In the museum building, the former library rooms were converted into exhibition spaces and a bistro. Large new display cases, doors, and windows in the arcades open up the museum to the street and provide a welcoming countenance for museum visitors and restaurant clients. A gray sandstone staircase and ramp rises from the red-gray veined sandstone flooring of the arcades and leads to the entrance of the new bistro. The narrow former library hallway now functions as the bistro’s dining area. Sitting on the elongated leather sofa, the guests look through the glazed doors at the comings and goings in the great sculpture and entrance court. In the adjoining bar, the focal point is the bar itself, which is made of highly polished brass. This treatment of the material produces a striking contrast to the matt, dark brown tones of the related material, architectural bronze, used for the windows and doors - this is true of both the historic elements and the new additions.

The gallery encircling the small courtyard and the high entrance hall were only gently renovated, with all interventions designed to restore the hall’s function as the central starting point and orientation area for all visitor services. The few modifications to this space included a light wash of paint, new lighting, and the island-like placement of the ticket desk. Freeing up the gallery around the small courtyard on the ground floor represents a further important strategy in this reconstruction project. This gallery corridor was historically used as an exhibition space, but over the years it has also accommodated a cafe and cloakroom. Provided with new lighting, freshly stuccoed walls and ceilings, and a reduced number of door openings, the gallery now forms a generous exhibition space for contemporary sculpture and reliefs.

Location Basel, Switzerland

Programme New spatial organisation, various remodelling measures and reconstruction of the Art Museum and Laurenzbau; conversion of the former library in the Art Museum into exhibition spaces and a bistro, refurbishment of the copper-engraving cabinet; renovation of the entry hall and the sculpture gallery, remodeling of the Laurenzbau into a library/reading room

Competition 2001, 1st Prize (Extension and Reconstruction)

Planning/Construction 2003–2007 in four phases (Reconstruction without Extension)

Client Building and Planning Office, Main Building Division
Construction Department of Canton Basel City

Gross Floor Area 6‘500 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Project Manager), Florian Isler
Competition: Barbara Schlauri, Sergej Klammer, Christof Bhend

Site Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Collaborator: Thomas Hochstrasser

Structural Engineer Rapp Infra AG, Basel

Electrical Engineer Elektrizitäts AG, Basel

Building Services Engineer Aicher, De Martin, Zweng AG, Lucerne

Furnishings Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
with Hannes Wettstein, Zurich

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

Awards Bautenprämierung des Heimatschutz Basel, 2007

Remodeling of the Kunstmuseum Basel

Laurenzbau Library

Housing Development and Remodeling Pflegi-Areal

The quality of the building stock of the former hospital ‘Pflegerinnenschule Zürich’ indicated a clear allocation of the new functions – offices and housing – within the existing and newly constructed buildings. It was possible to retain the buildings to the southwest by Pfister Architects from 1933/34 and convert the former hospital wards into offices, while the heterogeneous hospital buildings to the northeast were replaced by housing.

Despite substantial interventions, the goal was to retain the spatial character of the large-scale facility. Akin to the former hospital building complex and the neighboring freestanding houses, the new buildings form a hybrid ensemble between a closed block development and individual building volumes.

Together with the existing buildings, the new housing complex demarcates and defines three large exterior spaces: the garden, the Samaritan Court, and the Carmen Court. The former patients’ garden, with its beautiful trees, was left almost untouched. The Samaritan Court serves as new access area for the underground parking garage and offers drop-off and parking space. The Carmen Court, in place of the former nurses’ garden and lying atop the new parking garage, now stretches across the entire length of the site. The ground here consists of fine gravel as well as large poured concrete slabs, which form a wide access path to the apartment entrances. Willows are planted in large baskets made of steel reinforcement bars and filled with stones and earth. Set atop the garage roof, these baskets form a nutrient-rich habitat as well as providing root space and acting as a counterweight for the trees.

Housing in the newly constructed buildings consists primarily of single-level apartments with generous floor plans. A total of forty-eight apartments with twenty-two different floor plan types offer 2.5 to 6.5 rooms. In addition, nine work studios were built at courtyard level. To cater to contemporary living/working constellations, some ground-level apartments are connected with the courtside studio spaces via internal stairs. Placing the ancillary and service spaces at the center of the apartments permits free circulation, while the load-bearing use of the service core allows for minimal, as well as conventional room divisions. Several apartments have exterior spaces in the form of terraces. Most of them, however, possess a kind of “fresh-air space”, also called a “seasonal room”. It transforms into an open loggia in good weather and can be used as a normal, heated interior space during the rest of the year.

Concrete is used for the basic construction as well as for the interior flooring. Gravel and sand, two ingredients of concrete, form the floor surfaces outside and on the roofs. The load-bearing cores and double-layered exterior walls form the support structure. Generous window openings provide the apartments with ample daylight and a sense of space. The highly perforated wall surfaces become skeleton-like structures and give the apartments – analogous to the existing buildings – a pragmatic, urban air.

Colors applied in the form of mineral-based, highly matt pigments contrast with the unpretentious, commonplace expression of the architectural language. The use of color was developed in collaboration with the artist Adrian Schiess as a means of defining the atmosphere of the outdoor spaces (Carmen Court, garden). Thus, only three of the long façades are painted, while the street front, the short façades, and the reveals were left unpainted. The colors chosen are yellow-green and white in the Carmen Court, and blue toward the garden. The yellow-green tone on the southwest façade of the Carmen Court colors the light and reflects its hue when the sun shines onto the opposite, white-painted façade, thereby “bathing” the entire courtyard space. The blue coat of paint on the garden side mingles with the green of the trees to transform the old garden into a blue-green “landscape space” – right in the middle of the city.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme New construction with 48 apartments, 11 studios, 1 doctors surgery, underground parking 112 parking spaces; Remodeling of the existing building (former hospital) into office spaces

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 1999–2002

Client Stiftung Diakoniewerk Neumünster
Schweizerische Pflegerinnenschule, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 15’199 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: New Buildings: Christian Maggioni (Project Manager), Gaby Kägi, Philippe Vaucher, Ivo Lenherr, Arnault Biou
Existing Buildings: Christian Maggioni (Project Manager), Andrea Fiechter, Eva Geering
Competition: Gaby Kägi, Pascal Müller

Site Management New Buildings: Ruoss Witzig Architekten, Zurich
Existing Buildings: Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich, Collaborators: Peter Steiner (Construction Manager)

Landscape Architecture Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber, Baden

Structural Engineer Basler & Hofmann AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Basler & Hofmann AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer Basler & Hofmann AG, Zurich

Colours Adrian Schiess, Zurich and Mouans-Sartoux, France

Photos © Seraina Wirz
© Heinrich Helfenstein
Historical aerial view: © Baugeschichtliches Archiv, Wolf-Bender

Awards Auszeichnung für gute Bauten der Stadt Zürich, 2005


Renovation and Extension Oskar Reinhart Collection «Am Römerholz»

With the addition and alterations to the ‘Römerholz Villa’, the building once again undergoes a transformation. In 1915, the Geneva architect Maurice Turrettini, commissioned by then-owner Heinrich Ziegler-Sulzer, erected the building in the style of a French Renaissance country house. In 1924 Oskar Reinhart purchased the house and commissioned the same architect to build a gallery addition to accomodate his growing art collection. After his death in 1965, Oskar Reinhart bequeathed the building with its internationally prominent collection to the Swiss Confederation. After extensive alterations in 1970, the ground floor of the residential part of the building and the gallery spaces were made accessible to the public as a museum. The most recent alteration and renovation work can be traced to changing requirements with regard to lighting, operations and security that are required of contemporary museum spaces. Priority is laid therein upon the improved presentation of the high-quality works of art.

The architectonic means used to satisfy the varied requirements range from the replacement of two existing exhibition spaces with newly constructed ones, to simple renovation work, up to near-complete restoration of the historical spatial disposition and materials*. Hence, the commission divides itself into a plethora of differentiated interventions. This includes, for example, the spatial separation of the entrance space from the cloak room, in order to create more space for receiving guests; the restoration of the spatial arrangement in the former dining room; the reconstruction of former windows in order to illuminate certain sculptures; the reconstruction of the earlier parquet flooring in the gallery spaces; as well as the addition of etched panes of glass hung before the lantern skylight of the large gallery and the installation of sensor controlled louvers to regulate the light intensity.

The most far reaching changes are the three new exhibition spaces that mark the transition between the former residence and the gallery area. Corresponding to the works on display, the three spaces possess various sizes and proportions. The larger room is to house oil paintings, while the two smaller rooms are planned to display light sensitive graphic works. All three spaces are naturally lit; electronically regulated louvers lessen the intensity of the light. The skylights on the ceiling have the appearance of glowing lit panels and distribute light evenly into the space.

On the exterior, the new exhibition halls with their recessed skylights appear as closed, step-tapered volumes in concrete. Akin to a joint placed between the residence and the gallery wing, they terminate the entrance court on its shorter side. Like the existing gallery wing, the roof surfaces are covered with copper sheet. Large, pre-fabricated concrete elements form the cladding of the walls and the recessed skylight lanterns. Jura limestone and copper, two of the primary materials of the existing villa, were mixed into the concrete as powdered ingredients. The limestone and the copper powder in combination lead to a quick acting oxidation and to a green shift in colouration of the concrete. As water, enriched by copper ions, drains from the roof, the colouration process of the façade will increase over time. By virtue of this accelerated patinisation, the new building should make a kind of ‘journey through time’ towards the two, older, historic building elements - in the sense of an ‘alchemistic’ adaptation of the new building to the genius loci.

* Additional information:
The federal government passed general spending limits at the beginning of the planning phase, which also affected the retrofitting budget for the Oskar Reinhart Collection "Am Römerholz". Funds were cut in half, so that a comprehensive renovation was no longer feasible. In 2009/2010 a separate renovation phase took place without Gigon/Guyer participating. This included the construction of a new shelter space for cultural artifacts, the restaurant kitchen, the restrooms, the museum education spaces, and modifications of the technical equipment, by P&B Architekten.

Location Winterthur, Switzerland

Programme Renovation and remodelling existing Villa «Römerholz»: Entrance area, exhibition rooms, café
New building: exhibition spaces

Competition 1993, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 1995–1998

Client Federal Office for Construction and Logistics, Bern

Gross Floor Area 136 m2 (three new build exhibition spaces)
Net Internal Area (SIA 416): 1‘000 m2 (total renovated exhibition space)

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Andreas Sonderegger (Project Manager), Markus Jandl, René Kümmerli
Competition: Raphael Frei, Michael Widrig, Judith Brändle

Landscape Architecture Kienast Vogt Partner, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, St.Gallen

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Lichtdesign Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Cologne, Germany

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Photos © Andrea Helbling
© Harald F. Müller

Refurbishment of Villa Rosau

In the course of the project for the new office building, Villa Rosau was completely refurbished. The historical villa was constructed by the architect Ferdinand Stadler in 1844/45 for residential use. As most of its original substance was lost during previous remodelling, conservation efforts were concentrated on the building envelope. It was thoroughly renovated and in places restored to original condition. Furthermore, the building received a new structural foundation, while the former spatial arrangement was rebuilt from scratch. The villa houses the Club Baur au Lac and comprises a semi-public bar and restaurant on the ground floor with meeting rooms, a fireplace lounge and offices on the upper floors.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Club Baur-au-Lac, lounge, restaurant, kitchen, seminar rooms, offices

Commission 2009

Planning/Construction 2009–2020

Client Basic construction: Villa Rosau AG, Zurich
Client’s Representative: Conarenco AG, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 2‘104 m2

Team G/G Christian Maggioni (Team Manager from 11/2012), Mathias Rösner (Project Manager from 2011), Michael Winklmann (Team Manager until 10/2012), Martin Bischofberger (Project Manager until 2010), Roman Vetterli, Christoph Dober, Karla Pilz, Griet Aesaert, Daniel Friedmann

Site Management b+p baurealisation ag, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Locher Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer IGB B. Graf AG, St.Gallen

Building Services Engineer Gruenberg + Partner AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer Kopitsis Bauphysik AG, Wohlen

Fire Safety Makiol+Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See

Interior Design Club Baur-au-Lac: Atelier Zürich

Photos © Roman Keller

Auditorium, University of Zurich

A new, large auditorium that seats 500 people was constructed under the terrace on the valley side of the university building designed by Karl Moser in 1913/1914. The space serves both as a new auditorium and a second assembly hall. On weekends and during semester breaks it can also function as a conference hall for third-party rentals.

The auditorium is accessed via the former sculpture gallery on the ground floor. This space was previously used as an institute library and can be directly approached from outside and inside the university. The open gallery now functions as a lobby, with stairs in the alcoves of the vaulting leading down to the auditorium. Another wheelchair-accessible entrance and an elevator are located on the cafeteria side of the building.

Inside the auditorium the walls and ceiling are faced with colored panels, analogous to the spirit of the original interior design of the Moser building. The panels provide acoustic absorption and cladding for ventilation and electrical services. The artist Adrian Schiess designed the color scheme for the auditorium, consisting of light and dark pink, as well as tones of light blue and gray-green. To emphasize the festive quality of the space, the glass of the interpreters’ booths is printed with golden reflective patterns.

A skylight above the white projection wall provides the space underneath with daylight. Outside, both the raised skylight and a pool centered on the terrace indicate the presence of the auditorium below. The strong color of the basin contradicts conventional expectations of a natural green, which is used for the ponds in the neighboring gardens of the university. The basin with its reflective surface and artificial color resembles an independent, horizontal sculpture.

The walls facing the Künstlergasse consist of concrete poured in successive layers of various hues, from dark to light, which also references the ‘spacecontaining’ nature of the base. The top layers of the wall are only faintly pigmented, and the concrete surface of the terrace and the concrete rim of the basin are left in their natural tone. These thus form a contrast with the pure, strong color of the basin.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Underground auditorium with 500 seats, projection space, storage and technical spaces
remodelling existing lobby on the ground floor as access to the auditorium; coloured water basin on the terrace above the auditorium hall

Commission 1996

Planning/Construction 1996–2002

Client Building Office of Canton Zurich

Gross Floor Area 2‘545 m2

Team G/G Christian Brunner (Project Manager), Stefan Gasser, Michael Bucher

Site Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architekten, Zurich
Collaborator: Thomas Hochstrasser

Landscape Architecture Hager Landschaftsarchitektur AG, Zurich

Cost Planning/Scheduling Othmar Brügger, Davos

Structural Engineer SKS Ingenieure AG, Zurich

Colours Adrian Schiess, Zurich and Mouans-Sartoux, France

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein © Gigon/Guyer

Housing Development Entrepôt Macdonald

In the northeast of Paris, not far from the Parc de la Vilette, housing blocks, offices and shops have been erected on the structure of a large scale former warehouse. The “Entrepôt Calberson-Macdonald“ was built in 1969 by architect Marcel Forest alongside the railway line, today with its striking concrete structure and length of more than 600 metres it provides the outline conditions for an extension and increase in urban density.

The new buildings were erected above the existing structure by the 15 architects offices involved in the project, working within the framework of the urban planning guidelines. The existing building with its characteristic elongated facade facing onto the boulevard has been preserved for the most part and now forms a plinth that links the entire ensemble. To provide the natural light needed the central area of the 80-metre-deep building was demolished down to the level of the roof slab to the continuous ground floor and was replaced by a planted courtyard.

Gigon/Guyer were commissioned to build 84 social housing apartments in the eastern part of the site. The building along the Boulevard Macdonald is oriented north-south and has eight floors, two of which are part of the existing building. Working within the urban constraints of the overall project and the possibilities offered by social housing, the aim was to develop this project as an independent piece of architecture employing a variety of different housing typologies.

The elongated main building and the two vertical courtyard buildings attached to it together form a kind of comb-like plan, with two internal circulation cores positioned at the points of intersection. On the garden side this form helps to articulate the outdoor space, while at the same time creating a facade with a greater length, which can be bent to give the apartments optimal south-east or south-west orientation and which permits a variety of different floor plans. The smaller apartments are single-facing, the larger ones are oriented in two directions, with the kitchen and living room looking onto the quiet courtyard. In the attached elements the ground floor level apartments are two-storey, face the courtyard and have private gardens. The duplex apartments on the two uppermost floors have roof terraces and bedrooms at roof-top level.

Towards the courtyard the facades and the balconies are bent differently in relation to each other and respond to the various apartment types. In this way the design of the facade continues the theme of interlocking indoor and outdoor space found in the main volume. The facade is clad with shiny aluminium sheeting with slender corrugations, which, depending on the light, can make a very different impact and gives the building its lightness. The impression of transparency is strengthened by perforating the parapet  panels. These form a continuous band across the entire length of the building, on the boulevard side they are continued in the middle floors, emphasizing the facade’s horizontal structure. In front of the balconies the perforated elements fold outwards, screen the French windows and allow the red coat of paint to shimmer through.

On the boulevard side the master plan envisages a facade articulated in horizontal, crystalline and mineral layers – with a striking frame made of lightweight concrete elements that binds the three uppermost floors together. The ground floor is glazed, the materiality of two plinth levels with the wide horizontal bands and finely articulated elements is defined by the existing concrete, which has been carefully renovated. The “infill” of the concrete frame that surrounds the three top floors consists of a finely made vertical mesh of gold anodized profiles with recessed windows and closed areas, as a reference to the horizontal divisions in the concrete plinth. At the level of the second and third floors a large city window opens up the block, offering a view into and out of the internal courtyard and of the lively boulevard.

Coordination architects/Masterplan:
FAA+XDGA / Floris Alkemade et Xaveer de Geyter Architects, Arge, Paris, France

Location Paris, France

Programme 84 social housing apartments, 1–5 rooms (Retail space on the ground floor)

Commission 2008

Planning/Construction 2008–2015

Client SNC Paris Macdonald Promotion, Paris, France
S.A.S. ICADE CAPRI, Paris, France

Gross Floor Area 10‘855 m2

Team G/G Caspar Bresch (Team Manager until 2010), Pieter Rabijns (Team Manager from 2011), Martin Schwarz (Project Manager), Eric Sommerlatte

Contact architects DVVD Ingénieurs – Architectes - Designers, Paris, France

Site Management Vinci, Paris, France

General Contractor Vinci, Paris, France

Landscape Architecture Michel Desvigne, Paris, France

Cost Planning/Scheduling Arcoba, La Plaine Saint Denis, France

Structural Engineer Arcoba, La Plaine Saint Denis, France

Building Services Engineer Arcoba, La Plaine Saint Denis, France

Acoustical Engineer Acouphen, Pusignan, France

Photos © Philippe Ruault
© Cyrille Weiner

Address 193–199 Boulevard Macdonald, 75019 Paris

Hotel Züri, Heinrichstrasse

The Hotel “Senator” was built in the 1980s and integrated into a late 19th century perimeter block development in the former industrial district of Zürich-West. It has been converted into the new “Hotel Züri by Fassbind”. Fortunately, it was possible to retain the basic structure of floor slabs and concrete partition walls almost unaltered because a new building would have been smaller, as stipulated by zoning regulations, and would have consumed more embodied energy. The roof and the façades were entirely remodelled. One of the characteristics of the district’s residential and factory buildings are clinker bricks, used as facing bricks or as infill in frame structures. On the hotel façade, they take the form of “intarsia” that are cast in self-supporting concrete elements. All of the fittings and furnishings inside the building, including the bathrooms, were replaced. The inner as well as the outer appearance is marked by contrasting pairs such as day and night, light and dark, lying and standing, restrained material colours and strong spectral colours.

Thus, on the street front dark brown bricks have been embedded in the prefabricated elements of the cladding; in the courtyard the bricks are beige. Differently sized concrete “heads” terminate the vertical elements at the top and the horizontal elements at the sides, illustrating the modular construction. Some of the piers and lintels are entirely of concrete – as is the weighty protective canopy at the entrance. The way in which matrices were used to fix the 4 cm deep clinker bricks in the formwork can be seen in the passageway leading to the courtyard, where the matrices were cast without inserting any bricks.

The generously sized wall openings feature full-height timber and metal windows with frames of solid dark oak. To provide light for the new mansard rooms, the stainless steel roof is pierced alternatingly by dormers and roof windows. Two dormers placed by side by side accentuate each corner of the courtyard wing – and, in the interior, enhance the tent-like corner rooms with a “daylight lantern”.

The built-in furniture in the hotel bedrooms is made of oak, both light and dark. Large mirrors guide guests into the space and expand it, as do the windows that open the rooms towards the city. An upholstered bench can be used as both seating and a luggage stand. Letters woven into the grey-beige carpeting wish guests good day/good night in English, French, Italian and German. Patches of colour on the walls modify the daylight in the rooms and, above all, the artificial lighting consisting of LED wall and floor lamps designed especially for these rooms.

Large lamps and patches of colour also accentuate the hotel corridors and “shorten” them visually. Robust metallic and cement-based panelling protects the walls against trolley suitcases and laundry carts, and carpeting, also with lettering, dampens the sound of footsteps.

At ground level, the lobby, lounge and breakfast area form a spatial continuum with large “show windows” facing Heinrichstrasse and the city. Here the durable flooring consists of cast clinker brick fragments of the same kind as used in the façade. Guests are welcomed at a reception area of oak and black sheet metal, with bench seats extending along the walls and custom-made tables, chairs and pendant lamps.

On Heinrichstrasse a generous forecourt in cast concrete invites guests to take their breakfast outdoors under the semi-shade of the trees. In the courtyard the patchwork of paving materials is augmented by coarse gravel, and large tree planters made of steel rebars give newly planted deciduous trees a chance to take root above the underground parking.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Remodelling of a hotel dating from the 1980s (the former Hotel Senator) with 167 rooms, 317 beds (previously: 121 rooms, 242 beds), lobby with lounge and breakfast area, wellness area, underground parking
Original building volume and basic structure, new: façades, roof, interior fitting-out, building services

Commission 2012

Planning/Construction 2012–2017

Client Hotels by Fassbind

Gross Floor Area 6‘280 m2

Team G/G Development and realisation: Martin Feichtner (Project Manager), Cornelia Schmidt (Deputy Project Manager), Eva Rosenova, Matthias Clivio, Christian Gammeter, Nicolas Hunkeler, Maxim Moskalenko, Luisa Wittgen
Preliminary design study for building permit application: Pieter Rabijns (Project Manager permit application), Markus Seiler (Project Manager preliminary design study), Franziska Bächer (Project Manager), Martin Schwarz, Meret Morgenthaler

Site Management Ghisleni Partner AG, Rapperswil (Sub-planner)

Landscape Architecture Rainer Zulauf, Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur, Zurich

Structural Engineer Henauer Gugler AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer pbp ag engineering, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Gruenberg + Partner AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer Gartenmann Engineering AG, Zurich

Fire Safety Basler & Hofmann AG, Zurich

Acoustical Engineer Gartenmann Engineering AG, Zurich

Photos © Roman Keller