The competition entry for a new replacement building in Zurich Wiedikon proposes a compact building with a simple and robust materialisation and a flexible, forward-looking spatial concept. Ecological measures, for example to promote natural cooling or to reduce motorised private traffic, are integrated in the overall concept in an entirely natural way.
The proposed replacement building fits into the block perimeter development of Zurich Wiedikon district preservation zone. The way the street facades are formulated emphasises that it belongs to the existing buildings. The massive construction building consists of a delicately gridded, prefabricated concrete structure that is as slender as possible, and an external cladding of mineral rendered masonry combined with exposed Misapor-concrete elements.
The proposed project implements the concept of a forward-looking housing typology by using square, functionally neutral rooms that can be refitted and re-equipped repeatedly to suit changes in the circumstances of life. As none of the partition walls are built in concrete the rooms can be related to each other in a variety of ways. All variations have in common the entrance area, the large dining/living room, and a sequence of spaces laid out as an enfilade that establishes cross-references from facade to facade.
A mobility concept that includes bike parking areas, car-sharing and excellent public transport connections reduces the need for parking spaces and allows room to be made in the rear courtyard for a green, densely planted oasis with a seating area for all residents of the building. For energy reasons it was decided not to make an underground garage. Further separate outdoor spaces are to be found below the large pergola on the roof terrace, which is accessed via the staircases.
The low-tech approach, the continuous riser zones and the consistently reduced structural design are based on the principle of system separation and the reduction of grey energy and CO2. Heat generation through the air to water heat pump is combined with a highly efficient PV area that forms the weathering layer of the roof. Planting and the micro-retention of meteoric water assist the natural air conditioning of the building.