Social, low-cost, urban and a Goethe staircase in addition. Two residential buildings (accommodation) for students and staff of the University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, 2013–2018
At first glance, this is not a noble address for residential construction. Nevertheless: the public ground floor with studios, restaurant, common rooms and laundrette, together with the residents, enliven this urban district. Considering the history of this area and its politically sensitive location, the intense urbanity in action is almost an obligation.
The houses are both rough and colourful, playful and austere, but in every case thought through down to the tiniest detail. There are no unnecessary layers. The colours are used as a spatially effective and cost-effective means of design. They are not adornment, but part of the architecture. The Goethe staircase is the nucleus, the soul of the house: a staircase that pierces the entire house diagonally and takes your breath away at the right moment, in the right place. We treat ourselves to so much temper!
Another obligation was to build cost-efficiently. We used two methods: prefabrication of the non-load-bearing walls, of the bathrooms and of the concrete socle – and a massive, solid construction. We renounced unnecessary layers.
Uetlibergstrasse 111, 8045 Zurich, Switzerland
Study contract 2012, planning and execution 2013–2018
Foundation Stiftung Abendrot, Basel
272 studios and 40 shared flats, a restaurant with bar, ateliers and common areas
Patrick Gmür, Michael Geschwentner
Sybille Besson (project manager), Gabriela Kappeler (deputy pm), Jasna Strukelj Gmür, Jarolim Antal, Lukas Prestele, Susanne Bartholomé, Aiste Plentaite, Samuel Tobler, Gabriel Gmür, Manca Starman, Jan Zangerl, Peter Roesch