The proposed housing development mediates between the different scales found in Zurich’s Letzi district. A residential tower block with attractive rental apartments has an impact that extends beyond the borders of the district. A central, semi-public courtyard upgrades the area. The proposal emerged from a two-phase competition process in which it was shortlisted.
The Letzi district in Zurich is characterised by a highly heterogeneous development structure. The immediate surroundings of the site consist of large-scale commercial and service industry buildings on the one hand, while on the other fragments of a green urban district in the form of multi-storey freestanding apartment buildings and small-scale row houses can also be identified. The proposal mediates between these different local scales with a building that is precisely positioned in the urban plan.
The courtyard that opens towards Baslerstrasse and forms an address guides the concept. As a place of arrival and somewhere to spend time it expands the planned city boulevard. It is framed by the six-storey plinth building out of which the 60-metre-high tower at the corner of Basler- and Flurstrasse develops. The floor plan of the tower allows a high level of flexibility as regards the design and size of the apartments.
The parapet bands of the building envelope recall the brick and clinker of the neighbouring industrial and commercial buildings such as the SBB (Swiss Rail) workshops. As a whole the building draws strength and character from its dark appearance and establishes a point of reference in the urban system.
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