The end result of this phased development comprises four buildings enclosing a generous open space. The two long residential buildings that make up the first phase of the project provide the initial spatial definition of this central open space that then acts as semi-public space for the whole neighbourhood. Hence the open space here is less the classic courtyard typology familiar from perimeter housing development, and more a shared space for the wider environment around the new development. In order to activate this space, both residential buildings are primarily accessed from there. In contrast, the two transverse office buildings are directly accessed from, and orientated to the street.
The two residential buildings anchor the project in its location, the identity of which is already defined by its open spaces. With both its built fabric and its open space the project thus shapes a new identity by linking in with that of its context.
The set-backs in the façade to the interior open space enable spatially diverse floorplans with different sizes of apartment as well as creating a lively expression of the building towards the semi-public community space. In spite of the modulation of the façade the building volume remains compact as the design concept allows relatively deep floorplans.
Elmiger Tschuppert architects in collaboration with Matthias Rosenmayr Landschaftsarchitekten, Zurich