The house does the place good! – Bombach housing estate, Zurich
On the periphery of the city, the unwelcoming traffic junction of the Frankental terminus once dominated the atmosphere of the place until the Building Cooperative Höngg decided to replace the existing residential buildings and densify the area.
In a prime location with a view over the Limmat Valley, a small village has been created in the city: 162 affordable apartments, two kindergartens with after-school care, a wholesaler, various offices and studios, apartments for the elderly and two communal rooms enrich the quarter and make Frankental an urban place in an urban square.
Four large, compact houses create generous open spaces that become the defining theme of the design. To achieve this, as many apartments as possible are grouped around a staircase. This is an invention of the project: the seven-apartments manage to maximise the open space and form a community on each floor that reflects the tenant structure of the cooperative.
The buildings have a dynamic shape with a differentiated height gradation. The houses rise up towards the valley, while on the slope they lower down into the terrain opposite the small-scale neighbouring houses. This might sound simple, but a zoning boundary runs right through the centre of the site, and the houses will be built over it. This posed a huge legal problem that was solved in an intensive dialogue with the authorities!
The large building on Frankentalplatz occupies a special position. Bordered by busy streets, it marks the square and anchors the development in the urban space. The necessity for noise protection and the mixed spatial programme require a great deal of inventiveness and produce a great variety of different unit types such as maisonettes with patios. A system of staircases, but also double helix staircases, arcades and naturally lit corridors address all the flats on the square.
Frankentalerstrasse 20, Schwarzenbachweg
Studienauftrag 2010 1. Preis, Planung und Ausführung 2011–2017
Bau- und Siedlungsgenossenschaft Höngg
162 Wohnungen, Retailer, Kindertagesstätte, zwei Doppelkindergärten, Gemeinschaftsräume, Ateliers, Büros
Jakob Steib, Michael Geschwentner
Matthias Kyburz (PL Project planning), Gabriela Weber (PL execution), Britta Callsen, Giovanni Girotto, Lorella Civale, Thomas Rujbr, Kerstin Stoffers, Olivier Altorfer, Barbara Campolongo, Gabriel Gmür (study commission), Fahny Pesenti (study commission)