Housing Complex Park Grünenberg

One of the goals of this project was to make the existing Park Grünenberg the key theme of the new housing development. Three residential buildings were set in the western area of the park, formerly a landscape garden, while the architectural section of the garden to the east, along with the listed villa (Robert Bischoff and Hermann Weideli, 1910) were preserved as is. The new volumes are arranged and formed in a manner that guarantees vistas and perspectives onto the park or the lake. In conjunction with the vegetation, these polygonal volumes give the impression of a colorful “rock garden”.

The material used for the façades and construction is concrete – or “cast stone”. The exterior concrete shells extend into cantilevered structures, forming and bearing balconies. The concrete surfaces are finely sandblasted and coated with a glaze of mineral pigments. The artist collaborating on the color scheme, Pierre André Ferrand, envisioned a different tone for each building – dark gray, ochre, and yellow – each containing the color green. The appearance of the pigments themselves is completely matt, similar to a colored powder coating. From the outside, large windows reflect the surrounding trees, the sky, and the lake, while affording sweeping views from inside the apartments.

The careful arrangement of the apartments with their varying layouts enables each to benefit from the buildings’ orientation and location. In the smallest building (A), situated to the south, two apartments share each floor, enjoying either the virtues of slightly more lake views and evening sun in summertime, or more southern light. For the larger buildings located to the east and north (B and C), a variety of apartment types ensures that each is provided with both optimal natural light and vistas to the lake. The eight different types range from single-story units oriented toward three sides, to others with a living room that extends all the way through the building, to duplexes.

In analogy to the former landscape gardens, the green areas between the buildings are dotted with scattered trees and copses. Blooming bushes and evergreen shrubs adorn and organize the green spaces and distinguish the public areas from private gardens. The pathways are laid out as light-colored concrete surfaces that broaden and narrow, their effect comparable to large, level slabs of rock within the landscape.

Location Wädenswil, Switzerland

Programme 3 residential buildings with a total of 30 condominium apartments, 10 different apartment layouts, underground parking with 78 parking spaces

Competition 2002, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2004–2007

Client Grünenberg Baugesellschaft
c/o Beat Odinga AG, Uster

Gross Floor Area 9‘600 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Barbara Schlauri (Project Manager), Caspar Bresch, Marjana Sigrist, Juan Gonzalez
Competition: Volker Mencke

Construction Management Karl Steiner AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Hager Landschaftsarchitektur AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer Basler & Hofmann AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Innovative Elektrotechnik, Gossau Zurich

Building Services Engineer Schoch Reibenschuh AG, Nänikon

Acoustical Engineer IPA Energieberatung, Volketswil

Colours Pierre André Ferrand, Geneva/Krakow

Photos © Lucas Peters

Award Auszeichnung «Gute Bauten» der Stadt Wädenswil, 2008