Gertrudstrasse 23 – Housing laboratory & Chamber of curiosities, Zurich 2005–2008
The conversion of the small, inconspicuous office building offered another opportunity to reflect on our own housing needs. Where and how do we want to cook? Where to arrange our extensive library or where to sleep in the hot summer? Where to present the colourful collection of folkloristic armadillos or hang our numerous pictures?
Due to the low height of the existing rooms, we developed the spatial ideas out of the building section. We wanted to walk smoothly through the apartment arranged over three floors. The layout of the rooms follows a classical concept with a living hall in the lower area, bedrooms in the middle area, and a workplace on the gallery – as well as a kitchen and a dining room on the upper floor, with a view over the city.
All spatial interventions and fixtures are carried out as carpentry work, painted with oil paint and brush, and, if required, supplemented with inlays of wood veneers. Ceilings and walls are kept in soft English colour tones, the door handles are designed by us. This chamber of curiosities is being thought through tirelessly, new objects or furniture are being added, the apartment is the vivid stage of our lives.
Gertrudstrasse 23, 8003 Zurich, Switzerland
Reconstruction and conversion of a commercial office building built in 1963
Building ownership and architecture
Patrick Gmür and Annette Helle (Helle Architecture, Zürich)