Résidence du Pré-Babel

The construction of apartment blocks of varying heights and different standards on the former Pré-Babel sportsground and park site pursues the idea of concentrated interventions, aimed at retaining as much open green space around and between the buildings as possible.

The first building phase, Pré-Babel, comprised three apartment blocks 1, 2, and 3 with three stories each, offering a total of twenty-eight condominiums for the high-end market segment. For the second phase, Résidence du Parc de Grange-Canal, three taller buildings with standard apartments were planned, also including subsidized housing in accordance with a special stipulation in Geneva’s building regulations. Finding a common architectural language and similar housing typology for all three categories was one of the challenges in developing this park site.

The siting and shape of the buildings create external spaces that are either dotted with trees or left open as lawns. Each apartment type benefits from windows on three or four sides, with views of the expanses of lawn and groups of trees in the park.

The access paths to the buildings 1, 2, and 3 wind through the park and lead to slightly sunken entrance areas. To keep traffic away from the park, the driveways to the garages run underneath it. The entrance hall can be accessed both from the park and directly from the garage. Polished chrome steel parapets open up this space optically, as does the light gray flooring of terrazzo and cast stone incorporating marble chips. The front doors to the apartments are made of dark oak with an equally wide illumination panel to one side. Exposed concrete walls form a contrast to the refined materials used in the staircases to lend the whole an appropriate everyday quality.

The naturally-lit staircases provide access to two or three apartments and one studio on each floor. The apartments have spacious floor plans and a generous ceiling height of 2.7 meters. From each apartment’s entrance area, the space is divided into two main zones: a daytime area with kitchen, dining room, living room, and study, and a nighttime area consisting of bedrooms with connecting bathrooms and dressing rooms. Each unit has a covered balcony and an additional winter garden. One apartment on the top floor of each building has its own private access to the large roof terrace with pavilions.

The building volumes with their composition of horizontal and vertical prefabricated concrete elements are almost classical in appearance. Horizontal gray bands are combined with yellow vertical elements of varying widths, which reference the coloring of the sandstone buildings in Geneva. Sliding windows with aluminium frames alternate with the yellow concrete elements. Reflective glass parapets intensify the play of mirrored trees in the windows and also amplify the impression of the façades forming a ‘geometric fabric interwoven with silver strands.’

Location Geneva, Switzerland

Programme Three residential buildings with 24 individually owned apartments in total (3–7 room apartments with 132–339 m2), 4 studios, underground parking with 60 parking spaces

Competition 2004, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2004–2008

Client Frontimmo SA, Chêne-Bougeries, Geneva

Gross Floor Area 11‘053 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Gilles Dafflon (Project Manager), Matthias Clivio, Christine Jahn, Andréanne Pochon, Pieter Rabijns, Katja Schubert, Michael Wagner
Competition: Gilles Dafflon, Katja Schubert

Site Management Roberto Carella Architectes, Geneva

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich

Structural Engineer Fiechter Ingénierie SA, Chêne-Bourg

Electrical Engineer ECE SA, Bernex

Building Services Engineer Ryser Eco Sàrl, Genf and Mike Humbert, Geneva

Photos © Joël Tettamanti

Résidence du Parc de Grange-Canal

The buildings of the Résidence du Parc de Grange-Canal (Houses 40, 42, and 38) are conceived as seven- to nine-story high-rises. They contain eighty condominiums with regulated sales prices as well as fifty state-subsidized rental apartments in House 38, which conform to a simpler standard (with fit-out undertaken by Cerutti Architectes ). These are supplemented in House 40 by small furnished units. In these buildings, like those in the first phase of the project, every apartment has a roofed balcony with a winter garden, while each penthouse has a roof terrace. The yellow-pigmented concrete shell is not designed as a double construction here, but is instead made up of thermally insulated sandwich elements. Rhythm is lent to the façades by black-painted wood-aluminum windows with integrated parapets.

Location Geneve, Switzerland

Programme House 40 and 42: two residential buildings (7–9 stories), 79 individually owned apartments, with 16 studios / 1-room apartments, penthouses with private roof terraces House 38 (Cerutti architectes) : 50 social housing

Competition 2004, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2007–2012

Client Frontimmo SA, Chêne-Bougeries

Gross Floor Area 22’431 m2 (House 40 and 42)

Team G/G Planning/Construction House 40, 42:
Markus Seiler (Team Manager from 2008), Gilles Dafflon (Team Manager until 2008), Martin Schwarz (Project Manager from 2011), Vanessa Tardy-Klikar (Project Manager 2008–2011), Eric Sommerlatte, Christine Jahn, Karla Pilz
Planning application Houses 38, 40, 42:
Gilles Dafflon, Andréanne Pochon, Karin Winklmann, Pieter Rabijns, Sebastian Beck, Marc Faber
Gilles Dafflon, Katja Fröhlich

Contact architects Detail Planning/Construction Building 38: Cerutti architectes, Vésenaz

Site Management House 40, 42: Cerci SARL
and AML Immo Conseils SA, Plan les Ouates, Geneva

Landscape Architecture Preliminary Project: Schweingruber Zulauf, Zurich
Execution: Jacquet SA, Geneva

Structural Engineer ESM & Fiechter Ingenieries SA, Geneva

Electrical Engineer DSSA Dumont Schneider SA, Plan-les-Ouates

Building Services Engineer Enerlink, Geneva

Building Physics Engineer AAB - J. Stryjenski & H. Monti SA, Geneva

Fire Safety Protectas SA, Département Conseil & Ingénierie, Grand-Saconnex

Interior Design Condominiums: Yvan Prokesch, Gigon / Guyer

Photos © Thies Wachter

Résidence «Le Corylus»

Multistory residential housing in several price categories has been built on the former sports fields and park to the east of Lake Geneva. The project was completed in three phases: Pré-Babel, Grange-Canal and most recently Le Corylus. The property is situated in one of the communities on the outskirts of Geneva, which are short of living space because of the steadily growing population in city. The new buildings follow the idea of focusing the density of housing to provide open green spaces and as many trees as possible.

The first building phase, Pré-Babel, consists of three buildings of three stories each, comprising 28 high-end condominiums. In the second phase, Résidence du Parc de Grange-Canal, three high-rise buildings of seven to nine stories each accommodate 80 standard condominiums and 50 subsidized apartments. The third phase, Corylus, is a four story building with 12 condominiums and four offices on the ground floor. The layout of the buildings ensures daylight and views of the park from several sides. The apartments all have covered balconies with glazed winter gardens. In some cases, duplex and penthouse apartments with terraces have been built on the roofs. The three phases are distinguished through differences in the design of the entrance halls and staircases. In Corylus, the end-to-end entrance halls with open, staggered staircases are illuminated from both sides. Light terrazzo floors and fair faced concrete contrast with the dark, oiled metal of the doors and balustrades. The atmosphere is complemented by light fixtures above the entrances and a vertical wall section along the flight of stairs painted in gold.

The composition of prefabricated, horizontal and vertical concrete elements gives the buildings a classical look. Horizontal gray bands of concrete are combined with yellow vertical elements of varying widths, echoing the color of the sandstone used in the city of Geneva. The yellow pigmented, concrete sandwich elements are thermally insulated. Dark windows of wood and metal and glazed balustrades lend rhythm to the façades. The shared architectural idiom gives the overall ensemble of different residential typologies a distinctive identity of its own.

Location Geneva, Switzerland

Programme 12 condominiums, 4 offices groundfloor, underground parking

Planning/Construction 2013–2017

Client Idel Immobilier SA / Rue Etienne-Dumont Immobilier SA / Soplaim SA represented by Frontimmo SA, Chêne-Bougeries

Gross Floor Area 4‘730 m2

Team G/G Consortium
Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Yvan Prokesch Architecte, Geneva
Pieter Rabijns (Team Manager), Damien Andenmatten (Project Manager), Martin Schwarz (upto and including provisional execution)

Site Management AML Immo Conseils SA, Les Acacias

Landscape Architecture Jacquet SA, Geneva

Structural Engineer Fiechter Ingénierie SA, Chêne-Bourg

Electrical Engineer Dumont Schneider SA, Plan-les-Ouates

Building Physics Engineer AAB, Geneva

Fire Safety Haldi Sarl, Carouge

Photos © Joël Tettamanti
Interior: Yvan Prokesch