Freiestrasse, Zurich

Visualisierung Freiestrasse Zürich | Fischer Architekten AG

Two representative apartment buildings erected in an exclusive location in Zurich’s Hirslanden district are oriented on the existing late 19th century context. Surrounded by a park-like garden, the two buildings are integrated in the existing development in an entirely self-evident way. The consistent use of high-quality materials is an aspect that extends from the clinker brick facade to the generously dimensioned entrance hall and to the interior design of the rental and owner-occupied apartments.

The plot on Freiestrasse in Zurich’s Kreis 7 forms part of an important townscape that is deemed worthy of protection. The surroundings, which consist of elegant urban villas and generously sized gardens, some with large mature trees, call for a high degree of understanding for what already exists. A luxuriantly planted front zone creates the requisite distance from the public street, while on the garden side the buildings enjoy plenty of sunlight and profit from the view of the park-like surroundings.
Composed in the classic manner with base, central section, and roof, the two new buildings are unpretentiously integrated into a neighbourhood that has developed historically. The respect shown for the character of this district is also applied to the selection of materials: clinker brickwork as an expression of durability and timeless value gives both buildings a discreet nobility. On the facades towards the park-like green space a layer of delicate steel balconies mediates between inside and outside space. The apartments at roof level have stairs that lead up to generously dimensioned rooftop terraces from where one’s gaze can roam across the city and, at places, as far as the lake.

Although their facades are very similar, the two buildings are organised quite differently internally. One has three rental apartments on each floor, while in the other the staircase serves two large owner-occupied apartments on each level. The hallways that structure the spatial systems are to be understood as references to the floorplans of the late 19th century villas in the neighbourhood. To strengthen the representative character even further, in the interior great importance is attached to the selection and finishes of the materials.

Freiestrasse 134–138, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland
show on map
Task Two new replacement buildings containing rental apartments and condominiums at the upper end of the real estate segment
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, general planning
Time period 2016–2026
Challenge The context of the district and neighbourhood, building law