Bethesda home for the elderly, Küsnacht

Altersresidenz Bethesda, Küsnacht, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The extension to the Bethesda home for the elderly in Küsnacht nestles up against the existing complex and continues its urban design structure. South-facing apartments offer views of an extensive park that slopes down to the lake. A lower wing houses offices, a medical practice, and the communally used rooms.

The Bethesda site is interpreted as an island in the development pattern of Küsnacht. The expansiveness and generosity of the park, which slopes gently to the south, are important characteristics of the situation. The existing building complex that is embedded in the park can be read as a strictly orthogonal conglomerate. The woodland edge that frames the space and closes it to the north strengthens the autonomy of the complex and allows the seven storeys of the “sibling high-rise”, which is moved somewhat into the background.

The extension forms a striking conclusion to the existing complex and augments its orthogonal structure in a self-assured way. The apartments, which have generous loggias, are organised on five floors in two long, south-facing parallel blocks that are staggered in relation to each other. Railings that play with transparency give the facade a cheerful and friendly feeling. A wing at right angles to the old persons apartments houses the entrance hall, doctor’s practice, offices, lounge, dining room and small flats for the staff.

Rietstrasse 27, 8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland
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Task New extension for housing for the elderly
Job type Study commission by invitation
Mention 2nd prize
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project
Time period 2002–2007
Challenge “Continuing building” an existing complex