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

Construction 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

MSR 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

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

Signage Integral Ruedi Baur, Zurich

Sustainability «DGNB Platin»

Photos © Roman Keller

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

Construction 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 Engineer Makiol + Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See

MSR 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

Construction 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

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

Swiss Museum of Transport – Road Transport Hall

The concept for the new Road Transport Hall differs from the first design during the 1999 competition. Originally conceived as a three-story building with concrete shear walls, a load-bearing, glazed façade construction, and bridge-like ramps on the exterior, the new building is to have two stories, be more economical, and in particular offer greater flexibility. It is an exhibition building that in its rudimentary simplicity and as “dark-gray black box” is reminiscent of those buildings countrywide that are designed for the storage and housing of cars, i.e. multi-level parking garages and automobile repair shops. An automated parking system is employed here; a shelf-like structure operated by a mechanical lift displays the collection of cars densely positioned one above the other and out of reach. At the touch of a button, visitors can move one of the cars forward to look at it close up. The open areas on the first two levels provide space for running temporary theme-based exhibitions. A workshop shows the visitors how the vehicles are maintained and repaired.

The façade cladding of the mainly closed building volume is composed of sheet metal in differing formats and colors. Instead of standard façade sheeting, however, or metal from car bodies (as envisaged during the preliminary project), sheet-metal traffic signs have been recycled here: highway signs, guidance and information signs, warning signs, marker signs, and place-name signs. The signboard walls, which spatially delimit the Road Transport Hall, indirectly refer to the great freedom of mobility afforded by private transport, which is directed and regulated with the help of such boards. Furthermore, they also refer to numerous locations near and far that might be the home towns and cities of the visitors, who arrive via diverse traffic routes and using different modes of transport in order to discover more about the subject here. On the rear façade, toward  the neighboring buildings, the signs are reverse-mounted, which means that the printed side faces the building while the untreated, metal side faces outward. Thus, the neighbors see these boards just as road users would see the signs meant for the oncoming traffic – from the back.

Location Lucerne, Switzerland

Programme Exhibition building for cars, motorcycles, lorries and bicylces; Facade cladding composed of traffic signboards, placename and instructional signage

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2005–2009

Client Swiss Museum of Transport, Lucerne

Gross Floor Area 3'372 m2

Team G/G Caspar Bresch (Team and Project Manager), Mark Ziörjen, Damien Andenmatten, Gaby Kägi, Gilbert Isermann

Total Contractor Karl Steiner AG, Lucerne

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Henauer Gugler AG, Lucerne

Electrical Engineer Scherler AG, Lucerne

Building Services Engineer Wirthensohn AG, Lucerne

Exhibition Design Consultants: Lars Müller, Baden and Peter Regli, Zurich

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein

Address Lidostrasse 5, CH–6006 Lucerne, Switzerland

Award Auszeichnung guter Baukultur Kanton Luzern 2005–2016, Anerkennung

«Platform» Office Building

In the immediate vicinity of Hardbrücke railway station, the seven-story office building called Platform completes the ensemble comprising the high-rise Prime Tower and its annexes Cubus and Diagonal. The building’s volume, with various angles, reacts to the urban situation, providing a coherent link between the station and the new central square. A two-story-high passage through the building connects the square with the public pedestrian and bicycle path along the side of the tracks as well as with the new pedestrian underpass to Hardbrücke Station. In addition, the passage acts as a generous covered area outside the entrance foyer.

With its pronounced horizontal and layered design, the building contrasts with the Prime Tower nearby, effectively forming its reclining counterpart. As in the tower, the stories increase their floor area as the building rises, made possible by various projections. the volume of the building is also subdivided by courtyards that cut into the west and south sides and ensure well-lit office spaces within, as well as by the angular projections in the façade.

The central, prestigious entrance foyer forms an additional internal open area. A tall atrium flooded with natural light links the entrance level with the office floors above. Its function as a hub that lends the building its identity is additionally underlined by the open staircases and adjoining seating areas on the office floors. Dark glass balustrades mirror the space and the light in multifaceted reflections, creating a kaleidoscope effect.

Next to the entrance foyer on the ground floor are a restaurant, a cafeteria, and an auditorium. A wide, inviting staircase leads from the entrance level to the customer lobby on the first floor, from which the various conference rooms can be accessed. the levels above provide office space for around 1,000 staff. Although the building has been conceived as a corporate headquarters, the positioning of core facility areas permits a variety of office typologies if required in the future, including the division of each floor into a maximum of four separate rental units. Wall and ceiling paintings by Nic Hess, wallpaper and drapes by Lachmayer/Nobis and a textile sculpture by Ernesto Neto complete the interior.

To be able to meet changing spatial needs or different uses without radical structural alterations, the building has been designed as a load-bearing skeleton structure with reinforced cores.

The glazed façade is articulated by horizontally layered bands of parapets and windows. The double windows hold sunblinds in between and help reduce noise from outside. The inner windows can be opened for ventilation purposes toward the interim space of the double-skin façade. The slightly reflective outer glazing shell and parapets accentuate the building’s folded structure.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Seven storeys office building, 1'000 workplaces, atrium as central entrance hall, restaurants, shops, auditorium

Commission 2007

Planning/Construction 2007–2011

Client Swiss Prime Site AG, Olten

Gross Floor Area 28‘853 m2

Team G/G Christian Maggioni (Team Manager), Franziska Bächer (Project Manager from 11/ 2007), Stefan Thommen (Project Manager until 06/ 2007), Christoph Rothenhöfer (Project Manager until 05/ 2007), Markus von Dellingshausen, Philippe Volpe, Karla Pilz, Armin Baumann, Pieter Rabijns

Total Contractor HRS Real Estate AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Planning: ARGE Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG, Zug and Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich and Freihofer & Partner AG, Zurich
Construction: Ribi + Blum AG, Romanshorn

Electrical Engineer Planning: IBG B. Graf Engineering AG, St.Gallen
Construction: Herzog Kull Group Zürich, Schlieren

Building Physics Engineer BAKUS GmbH, Zurich

Heating/Cooling Planning: PB Peter Berchtold, Ingenieurbüro für Energie und Haustechnik, Sarnen
Construction: Lippuner Energie- und Metallbautechnik AG, Grabs

Ventilation Engineer Waldhauser AG, Münchenstein

Lighting Consultant Planning: Ernst Basler + Partner, Zurich
Construction: Regent, Zurich

Plumbing Planning: PB Peter Berchtold, Ingenieurbüro für Energie und Haustechnik, Sarnen
Construction: Huustechnik Rechberger AG, Zurich

Facade Planning: gkp fassadentechnik ag, Aadorf
Construction: Fahrni Fassadensysteme AG, Lyss

Furnishings Gigon / Guyer Architekten, Zurich
workspaces intern: Off Consult, Zurich

Art within Architecture Nic Hess, Zurich
Herbert Lachmayer and Margit Nobis, Vienna, Austria
Ernesto Neto, Brazil

Photos © René Dürr
© Walter Mair
© Shinkenchiku-sha, Tokyo
© Thies Wachter
© USM Möbelbausysteme / Dani Suter

Prime Tower Office High-rise
with Annex Buildings Cubus and Diagonal, Maag-Areal

The location of the Prime Tower and its two annexes, the Cubus and Diagonal buildings, is part of a formerly almost inaccessible industrial site that is gradually being converted into a business and residential district with associated services. Situated in the immediate vicinity of Hardbrücke railway station and 126 meters in height, the high-rise is the tallest in Switzerland for the time being. It is not only a distinctive feature of the neighborhood, but also a landmark for the up-andcoming district of Zurich West.

The concept underpinning the Prime Tower is of a building that might be said to assume many guises, although its fundamental structure and the means deployed are relatively straightforward. The design aimed to find a floor plan arrangement that would maximize the number of well-lit workplaces, while also seeking to create a striking architectural form evoking differing impressions depending on the position from which it is viewed. The outcome of these efforts is a building on an irregular octagonal ground plan that confounds conventional expectations by broadening toward the top.

In terms of urban planning, the building’s significance is twofold in relation to its impact when seen from nearby or from a distance. From afar, it appears as an abstract, elegant volume formed from greenish glass that changes depending on whether it is seen from the side (from the north or south) or head-on (from the east or west). The planes of the façade, oriented in various directions, reflect the light and the surroundings in different ways, articulating and subdividing the volume into what might be called gigantic “pixel surfaces”. The impression the building makes when seen close-up also changes with the spectator’s standpoint. These close-up views reveal that the projecting portions of the tower exert an integrating effect on the surrounding buildings.

At Geroldstrasse, an inviting outdoor area between the high-rise and the new neighboring Cubus office building leads to the entrance of the Prime Tower and toward the planned Lichtstrasse. In the southwest, a plaza is created in conjunction with the existing listed Diagonal building and the new Platform office building beside the railway.

The ground floor of the Prime Tower houses retail spaces and a coffee bar for use by both office employees and passers-by. Special features on the top floor include a public restaurant, bistro with a bar, and a lounge, while a private conference area is available on the floor below.

The cores and emergency stairs are arranged so that up to four tenants can occupy offices on the same floor or, conversely, one business can occupy several floors with internal atriums and staircases. The projecting portions of the building create additional office space on the higher and therefore more soughtafter floors, as well as providing greater variety when using the space for different types of offices.

The load-bearing skeleton structure of the tower is made of concrete with reinforcing cores. The variously sized cantilevered projections are supported by slanting the supporting columns over two or three stories. The façade is constructed from insulated triple glazing with a greenish tint. To enhance workspace conditions, and to meet fire regulations, which require smoke ventilation, alternating windows can be opened parallel to the building. The prefabricated windows are frameless on the exterior. They grant the polygonal building the multifaceted appearance of a greenish crystal.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme High-rise office building, 36 floors, 126 m hight, entrance hall, bank branch, varying office types, gastronomy, restaurant and conference area on the top floors

Competition 2004, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2004–2011

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

Gross Floor Area Total Prime Tower with Annex buildings: 73‘830 m2
Prime Tower: 53‘461 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Stefan Thommen (Team Manager), Christian Maggioni (Deputy Team Manager), Christoph Rothenhöfer (Project Manager until 2007), Pieter Rabijns (Project Manager from 2007), Alex Zeller, Urs Meyer, Franziska Bächer, Raffaella Bisceglia, Armin Baumann, Karin Winklmann, Roberto Outumuro, Rafael Schmid, Martin Bischofberger, Leander Morf
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
A: Hefti Hess Martingnoni, Zürich

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

Ventilation Engineer C/S: Waldhauser AG, Münchenstein
E: 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

Facade C/S: gkp fassadentechnik ag, Aadorf
E: Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Furnishings Gigon / Guyer Architects with C/S: Studio Hannes Wettstein, Zurich

Art within Architecture Adrian Schiess, Zurich and Mouans-Sartoux, France
Harald F. Müller, Öhningen, Germany

Photos © Walter Mair
© Thies Wachter

Award Auszeichnung für gute Bauten der Stadt Zürich 2011–2015

Housing Development Brunnenhof

The former, noise-exposed three-story apartment buildings owned by the Foundation for Large Families in Zurich have been replaced by two slightly angled, elongated volumes of different heights. The larger, six-story building follows Hofwiesenstrasse but is oriented toward the park, which it shields from the street and hence from traffic noise. The smaller, four- to five-story building on Brunnenhofstrasse is in a certain sense within the park, surrounded by green on both sides with its height corresponding to that of the neighboring buildings. Both buildings are conceived as ‘stacks’ of horizontal slabs which cantilever to varying degrees and form generous balconies on the park side.


For the noise-affected building on Hofwiesenstrasse, access to the apartments is via longitudinally arranged staircases and spacious entryways that adjoin the eat-in kitchens. All bedrooms face the quiet park side and are connected by a projecting balcony. The living rooms extend through the apartment, facing both east and west and giving onto the park-side balconies.

Within the smaller Brunnenhofstrasse building, the living rooms are positioned along the façade and look onto the park to the south and southeast via adjoining balcony areas. In the four-story north- and south-facing part of the building, the eat-in kitchens are connected to the living rooms on the south side, while in the angled part of the building the kitchens enjoy the evening sun.

A circuit-like layout grants all apartment types spaciousness, freedom of movement for both children and adults, and enhanced flexibility of use. The latter is further augmented in the ground floor apartments by means of extra rooms between them that can be used by either apartment. The entrance lobbies on the ground floor are connecting rooms that link to the park and provide space for strollers, scooters, and toys. The naturally lit laundry and drying rooms are located in the basement, adjacent to the stairs.

A kindergarten and nursery are housed at the end of both buildings where the pathway to the park is situated. A multi-purpose common room takes the most prominent position at the corner between street and pathway. A continuous hedge along the street creates a green zone that provides the necessary privacy for the slightly elevated ground floor apartments. The park-facing apartments are elevated by half a story to allow the inclusion of a garden and play area between the park and the building. The hedges that run alongside the building approaches establish the border between these zones and the park.

The façades are formed by the balconies and the concrete bands that wrap horizontally around the building. Between them, floor-to-ceiling windows alternate with colored glass panels, joining together with sliding glass shades to create an interplay of reflecting and matt, opaque and translucent or transparent surfaces. The color concept was developed together with the artist Adrian Schiess. Facing the street, the glazing is dark blue and violet, while toward the park the tonality flows over large areas from blue tones to orange to yellow. The impression of the fluid, changing play of colors is enhanced by the varying positions of the sliding elements - ultimately the residents modify and create new color compositions every day, even every hour.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Programme Two buildings, 72 apartments, 6 extra rooms, common room, kindergarten, day-care, underground parking with 75 parking spaces

Competition 2003, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2004–2007

Client Stiftung Wohnungen für kinderreiche Familien, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 18‘437 m2

Team G/G Markus Seiler (Project Manager), Lorenzo Igual, Rolf-Werner Wirtz, Ulrike Horn

Construction Management b+p baurealisation ag, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Hager Landschaftsarchitektur AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Building Physics Engineer Lemon Consult GmbH, Zurich

Colours Adrian Schiess, Mouans-Sartoux, France

Photos © Georg Aerni
© Hannes Henz
Filmstills: © Severin Kuhn

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

Construction 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

Award Auszeichnung für gute Bauten der Stadt Zürich, 2005


Donation Albergs-Honegger Espace de l’Art Concret

The new museum for the Espace de l’Art Concret (EAC) was built on the occasion of the donation of the Albers-Honegger Art Collection, parts of which had been displayed since the 1990s on a rotational basis in the castle of Mouans-Sartoux. The castle rooms will mainly be used for temporary exhibitions in the future. The new museum is the second freestanding annex on the castle grounds, following a children’s painting studio called the Espace Art, Recherche, Imagination designed by architect Marc Barani. A third small building, the Préau des Enfants, was erected shortly after the museum. Both are set in a steeply sloping wooded area within the surrounding park.

The museum building’s minimal, square-shaped ground plan and its tower-like structure with cantilevered elements made it possible to insert it into the wooded site with as little disruption to the existing trees as possible. Its position on a slope enables ground-level access at various building levels. A projecting section forms both the entrance to the museum and a bridge to the path outside. The access area for the public conference space and for deliveries also projects from the main volume of the building.

The museum entrance is elevated half a story above the first exhibition level. The galleries, connected by open stairs, are arranged at half-story level and form a spiral tour through the building. Two closed, sky-lit staircases serve as escape routes and also offer visitors a short path back to the entrance after finishing their tour. In addition to the lift, these staircases form an interior vertical connection between the conference space and the other rooms on the lower levels.

The arrangement of the galleries along the façades, the lateral lighting via the windows, and particularly the proportions of the spaces recall those of a large home rather than resembling a classic museum. Although the windows do not provide the even illumination often thought desirable in galleries, this solution meets the express wishes of the donors, who wanted natural light that would enable the works of art to engage in a vivid dialogue with the world outside and to be seen under a variety of lighting conditions. The windows are placed at differing heights in the galleries. Double-paned and resembling box-type windows, the outer pane of glass is affixed to the exterior of the façade to offer primary protection from wind and rain, while the inner pane, which can be opened, provides thermal insulation. Between the two windows, and thus shielded from the weather, fabric blinds afford protection from the sun. The blinds can be closed if desired, transforming the windows into sources of pure light, like glowing panels.

The building is constructed of poured concrete, which is painted a light yellowgreen, in anticipation of the moss and algae that the nearby trees will eventually cause to cover it. Intriguingly, this color generates two diametrically opposed effects. On the one hand, it glows in contrast to the surroundings; on the other, it forms a harmonious background for the changing colors of the trees.

The donors’ commitment to art education is expressed again in the nearby Préau des Enfants, an open concrete structure in the forest where the children’s drawings and painting studies are exhibited.

Location Mouans-Sartoux, France

Programme Museum, 14 exhibition spaces, entry hall, conference room, offices and secondary rooms

Competition 1999, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2001–2003

Client Ville de Mouans-Sartoux, France
Etat, Ville, Conseil Régional PACA, France
Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes, France

Gross Floor Area 1’829 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Gilles Dafflon (Project Manager)
Competition: Eva Geering, Dalila Chebbi

Construction Management BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France

Structural Engineer BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France
Preliminary Design: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France
Preliminary Design: Elkom Partner AG, Chur

Building Services Engineer BET G.L. Ingénierie, Nice, France
Preliminary Design: 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Photos © Serge Demailly
© André Morin

Archaeological Museum and Park Kalkriese

Due to numerous archeological finds, the site in the northwestern part of Germany near Kalkriese is considered to be the location of the famous Battle of the Teutoburg Forest / Varus Battle between the Romans and Germanic tribes in the year 9 AD.

The interventions, the architectural means employed and the landscape design, are minimal and primarily abstract. A few measures spark the visitor’s imagination of the events that took place in this landscape: the visualization of the former rampart with iron poles, trees cleared away and reforestation, a partial “reconstruction” of the former, lower terrain, three pavilions as well as three path systems on the grounds. Irregularly placed large iron slabs retrace the possible route of the Roman Legions and form a path for visitors to access the former battlefield. A net-like pattern of wood-chip paths symbolizes the positions of the Germanic warriors, their camouflage, their silent attack. Contemporary agricultural gravel paths allow visitors to “switch sides”. Proceeding from one iron slab to the next on the so called “Roman path”, visitors collect pieces of information from the ground, not unlike archeological work. Step by step, an image of the historical battle forms in their minds.

Location Osnabrück, Germany

Programme 20 hectares former agricultural parcel “marked” as location of the famous “Battle of the Teutoburg Forest” (9 AD): 3 path systems of paths, visualization of presumed course of ramparts, forest clearance/reforestation, partial “reconstruction” of former landscape; construction of a new museum building with viewing platform 40 m in height; 3 pavilions: “Seeing”, “Hearing”, “Questioning”; conversion of former farmstead into visitor center with restaurant, shop, children’s museum and offices

Competition 1998, 1st Prize
in collaboration with Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber Landscapearchitects, Baden

Planning/Construction 1999–2002

Client Varusschlacht im Osnabrücker Land GmbH
Museum and Park Kalkriese, Germany

Gross Floor Area 2‘290 m2 (Museum and Pavilions)

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Volker Mencke (Project Manager), Caspar Bresch, Christian Brunner, Massimo Wüthrich
Competition: Markus Lüscher

Construction Management pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Landscape Architecture Planning/Construction: Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber, Landschaftsarchitekten, Baden
Construction Manager: Heimer + Herbstreit, Hildesheim, Germany

Structural Engineer Gantert + Wiemeler Ingenieurplanung, Münster, Germany

Exhibition Design Integral Concept, Paris/Baden: Ruedi Baur (1st Exhibition concept Museum), Lars Müller (Exhibition concept pavilions)

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein
© Klemens Ortmeyer

Award BDA-Preis Niedersachsen, Landesverband Bund Deutscher Architekten, 2003
Deutscher Stahlbaupreis, 2003
Weser-Ems-Preis für Architektur und Ingenieurbau, 2001



Pavilion «Seeing»

Pavilion «Hearing»

Pavilion «Questioning»