In the future people will live, work and spend their leisure time in Hardau I. The competition entry endeavours to create a balance between a clear, strong urban statement and a solution that offers residents and users the maximum possible degree of openness.
The plot Hardau I in Zurich Aussersihl occupies the joint between the dense block edge development along Hardstrasse and the free, expansive volumetric buildings in Hardau. Exciting contrasts between closed and open block perimeters, block edge fragments and individual developments shape the density of this district in terms of urban design and program and are matched by the range of different functions. Here these urban patterns rarely occur in their pure form and tend to oscillate between a spatial and a volumetric quality.
The planned increase in density of the currently relatively private Hardau housing estate offers an opportunity to make a somewhat reserved neighbourhood into a lively community in which people can relate to each other. Through a robust spatial structure that is by and large functionally neutral and with relatively little effort a design can be produced that the reflects changing ways in which people live together.
The positioning of the building volumes allows the creation of a variety of squares, lanes, gardens, yards, and short-cuts that are full of character and relate to the nature of the site and also makes possible residential communities extending beyond individual buildings that are connected by balconies. To establish the character and the use of the communal outdoor spaces, on the entrance floors the buildings accommodate commercial or semi-private functions of varying sizes.
The slow-moving traffic in the district allows a lively density with places where it very pleasant to spend time. The small entrance courtyard corresponds with the entrance situation at Bullingerhof, the piazzetta with its tall pine trees makes a reverential gesture to the Platanenhof in Hardau II, the green district courtyard is similar to several examples in the courtyards of the nearby block edge developments, and the planted gardens refer to the existing family gardens on Bullingerstrasse.
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