Municipal Works Yard

The urban design concept of the project is demonstrated in the siting of the workshop building and the choice of materials. Firstly, the new building closes the arrival space of the sports center bordering the Talstrasse, in order to both accentuate and heighten the precision of the spatial connection to the Kurpark. Furthermore, the theme of wooden façades is taken up in reference to the existing building.

The ground floor footprint of the two-story volume is reduced to those rooms that must be located on the ground floor: the garages for the trucks and snowplows, the automobile repair workshop and carwash, and the carpentry workshop. The remaining spaces, storage rooms and offices are placed on the upper floor. This uneven usage distribution generates cantilevers on the second floor on both of the longer building sides, serving to protect the entrance areas of the garages and workshops lying below.

The load-bearing structure is a skeleton/cross-wall construction with pre-stressed concrete slabs and concrete columns. The large cantilever towards the Talstrasse is achieved by the use of vertical concrete slabs that act as upstand beams positioned between the floor and ceiling slabs. The exterior walls and partition walls are made of pre-fabricated, floor-to-ceiling, insulated wooden elements. A ventilated cladding of horizontal wooden boards forms the exterior layer of weather protection. The various board widths cut in parallel fashion from the tree trunks are mounted according to the sequence of the cut. The roof, analogous to the façades, is made with a ventilated construction in wood, insulation and concrete – a “Davos roof”.

The windows are typically set flush with the cladding. For those windows that should not offer any inward view, rotated cladding boards serve as fixed louvers. The glazed steel doors of the garages, which open outwardly, are covered by the cantilevered parts of the building and thus protected from the snow. Galvanized sheetmetal clads the underside of the cantilevers and reflects a diffuse light into the workspaces lying further back.

Location Davos, Switzerland

Programme Garages, carwash, workshop, storage, offices

Competition 1998, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 1998–1999

Client Davos Tourismus

Team G/G Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
in collaboration with Othmar Brügger, Architect, Davos
Planning/Construction: Christian Brunner (Project Manager)
Competition: Markus Lüscher
Collaborators Othmar Brügger: Andreas Leu

General Contractor Zschokke, Chur

Structural Engineer Conzett, Bronzini, Gartmann AG, Chur
Peter Flütsch, Chur

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Photos © Heinrich Helfenstein