In line with the principles of the garden city, our proposal suggests the breaking down of the housing volumes into six, compact buildings. Three buildings, nearly identical among each other, are located in the western plot, while the others, also identical among each other, are located in the eastern plot. In this way, the inevitable impact of the increase of density brought by the new development is minimised.
The proposed buildings form an adequate yet permeable urban edge towards the Dübendorfstrasse. The street front is characterised by large openings towards the existing garden city located at the back of the plot and the slopes of the nearby hills in the background. The architecture aims to express simplicity, durability and a sense of openness and generosity which we consider some of the essential ingredients of cooperative housing.
Each building is made by stacking two different construction systems—concrete framework for the first 2 levels and cross laminated timber CLT for the upper 3 levels—each respectively corresponding to two main housing types: 2-floors masionette and gallery apartments. Both construction systems are simple, effective and allow for a quick assembling process without renouncing to the possibility of variation and individuation. Especially CLT is a sustainable material, the use of which allows for the reduction of the level of finishing, their impact on the construction costs without compromising the level of domestic comfort. The regular placement of the buildings through the site is meant to create a rhythmic sequence and ease construction that can therefore easily take place in phases.
Buildings frame both collective and private gardens. The 2-floors concrete plinth is filled with masionette units, directly accessible from and through gardens. The apartments at the upper levels are accessible from generous entrance pavilions at the ground level and generous open galleries, which becomes collective terraces. Private terraces are placed on the opposite side of each apartment. From the outside, both collective galleries and private terraces are unified by a continuous loggia which become the main motive of the façade.
Both masionette and gallery apartments are conceived as a series of rooms arranged along a linear ‘salone’, which runs through the entire section of the building. Following a feminist approach, kitchens are open and placed near the entrance of each unit with the sink overlooking the shared gallery. In this way, rather than being a hidden space that completely secludes domestic labour, the kitchen becomes the social interface between the house and collective spaces.
In terms of surfaces, all units’ are generally slightly smaller than what prescribed (- 1,5?% on average). Yet, the project offers generous collective spaces in the form of the galleries, of collective roofs with laundries and terraces, and of shared gardens and communal rooms at the ground level. Great care has been put in the differentiation of the houses both in terms of surfaces and rooms arrangement. In this way the apartments can respond to different situations while maintaining the same spatial organization throughout the six buildings. Both maisonette and gallery apartments are interlocked in such as a way that the rooms along each ‘salone’ can eventually belong to a different unit, thus allowing efficient retrofitting of houses floorplans according to inhabitants’ needs and changing demographic conditions.
Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara, with Daniele Ceragno, Celeste Tellarini, Dag von der Decken.