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

Housing Development Goldschlägi

The Goldschlägi site is located adjacent to the railway station in the center of Schlieren. The site borders a wide stretch of railway track to the north and a green space to the south that serves as a vista and access area for the apartments. The elongated, narrow residential buildings emphasize the orientation of the plot parallel to the tracks, but rigidity is alleviated by their offset alignment. The height of the complex varies between three and six floors, resulting in a division of the overall volume that creates differentiated outdoor spaces.

The urban concept is reflected in the individual apartment types. Those rooms in which noise level is of less relevance, such as the access cores, kitchens, and bathrooms, are located on the north, facing the tracks. All living rooms and bedrooms, as well as the generously proportioned, projecting balconies, face south over the garden area. Their staggered positioning provides residents with an outdoor space one or two stories high. The parapets and the side elements are composed of colored glass panels that ensure privacy and cast bright blue shadows when the sun shines.

The complex is divided into 105 apartments with different floor plans and of varying sizes ( with 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms ). All have one open-plan living / dining / kitchen area that is naturally lit from both sides. The kitchen and bathroom form one module in each unit, and a large number of different floor plans have been generated through its alternate siting.

The projecting and recessed façades facing the tracks have been finished in a bright red. The black-framed windows of various sizes and division – belonging to the kitchens, bathrooms, dining areas, and staircases – create a rhythmic pattern. The south-facing façades and the end walls are of white plaster, with the window frames and sunblinds executed here in anodized aluminum.

Concrete floor slabs cast in-situ and prefabricated concrete supports give the complex a regular structure. Bracing is achieved by means of the stairwells and the external end walls. The concrete structure is encased in large, prefabricated and insulated timber elements, clad with a rear-ventilated and plastered façade. Using frame construction throughout and avoiding load-bearing internal walls wherever possible has ensured a high degree of flexibility with regard to the floor plans.

Location Schlieren, Switzerland

Programme Two buildings with varying heights (3 to 6 storeys); 105 rented apartments, different typologies and sizes (2.5-, 3.5- and 4.5-room apartments), less noise sensitive rooms orientated towards the tracks; living accomodation / bedrooms and balconies face the green space to the south; underground parking

Competition 2005, 1st Prize
in collaboration with Halter Generalunternehmung AG

Planning/Construction 2005–2009

Client Migros Pensionskasse Immobilien, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 16‘693 m2

Competition Organzier Schweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB, Zurich

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Markus Seiler (Team Manager), Martin Bischofberger (Project Manager), Rolf-Werner Wirtz, Florian Isler, Daniel Trepte, Kristin Sasama, Sebastian Beck, Daniela Bergmann
Competition: Gilbert Isermann

Total Contractor Halter Generalunternehmung AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Rotzler Krebs Partner AG, Landschaftsarchitekten BSLA, Winterthur

Structural Engineer ARP André Rotzetter+Partner AG, Baar

Electrical Engineer R+B engineering AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Project: HL-Technik AG, Schaffhausen
Execution: Turrin Engineering, Hegnau

Building Physics Engineer Raumanzug GmbH, Zurich

Timber Engineer Josef Kolb AG, Uttwil

Colours Harald F. Müller, Öhningen, Germany

Photos © Harald F. Müller
© Lucas Peters

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

Awards 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

Signage Integral Ruedi Baur Zürich GmbH

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

Photos © Walter Mair
© Thies Wachter
Maagplatz: © Roman Keller

Awards 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

Site 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

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


Donation Albers-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

Site 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

Site 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

Awards 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»

Kunstmuseum Appenzell

formerly: Museum Liner Appenzell

The museum building, dedicated to the oeuvre of Appenzell artists Carl August Liner and his son Carl Walter Liner, belongs to the category of the monographic museum. However, the rooms are not designed to house particular paintings by either of these two artists, but rather, are dimensioned to accommodate changing presentations of the work of father and son as well as exhibitions of contemporary art. The rooms are therefore more general than specific in nature. They are quiet, simple spaces that seek neither to exaggerate nor to compete with the works of art. They show a minimum of detail, have bright walls, poured concrete floors, and are illuminated by daylight coming in through windows set in the gabled roof overhead.

The dimensions of the rooms are relatively small to provide a concentrated and focused ambience for the individual paintings. The total exhibition area is divided into ten rooms, each measuring between 30 and 50 m2 in size. The varying size of the rooms is generated by an asymmetrically positioned wall running the length of the building as well as intersecting axes that define the spaces in decreasing size from south to north. The alignment of the doorways from room to room may be straight or shifted, allowing visitors to follow a direct or a meandering course through the museum. Two windows offer a view outdoors and facilitate orientation within the building. A small reading room and a room for slide and video presentations are placed at the north end of the building - that is, in the middle of the museum tour. The architectural opener for visitors is the spacious lobby with a counter for tickets and sales. As the first and largest room in the museum, it also functions as a place for receptions and lectures.

The building is constructed using in-situ concrete and aerated concrete masonry. Due to the massive construction and the north-orientated roof-lights only minimal climate control is necessary in the galleries. The vestibule projecting from the building volumetry is made of exposed concrete, illustrating the materiality and compactness of the construction on the exterior.

The illumination of the exhibition spaces, whose gables vary in height and breath, results in a 'zigzag form’ in the building volumetry. It reminds one, in a distant way, of the rows of gable roof buildings in the Appenzell villages, as well as of the more regular sawtooth roof forms of industrial and agricultural buildings. The roofs are clad in sandblasted sheets of stainless steel in order, on the one hand, to attain a diffusion of the reflected light, while on the other hand, a neutrality of the colour temperature. The facades are clad in the same material. The overlapping cladding and its shimmering grey colour show a distant resemblance to traditional Appenzell architecture with its shingled facades (and roofs that were once shingled as well) weathered to a silvery grey. The combination of facade and roofing in the same material produces an overall, irregular volume, like a small mountain range against the background of the Alpstein massif.

Location Appenzell, Switzerland

Programme 12 connected exhibition spaces, each measuring 30–50 m2, reading and media room, lobby with cloakroom; offices, technical and storage spaces

Commission 1996

Planning/Construction 1996–1998

Client Stiftung Museum Carl Liner Vater und Sohn

Gross Floor Area 1‘644 m2

Team G/G Annette Gigon, Mike Guyer, Urs Birchmeier (Project Manager)

Site Management Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Collaborator: Daniel Kaufmann

Landscape Architecture Kienast Vogt Partner, Zurich

Structural Engineer Aerni + Aerni Ingenieure AG, 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 © Heinrich Helfenstein
© Gaston Wicky

Awards Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture, 1999 – Finalist