Haus Blumenthal, Kilchberg

Villa Blumenthal Kilchberg | Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

In summer 2019 by shifting the position of the listed building Haus Blumenthal in Kilchberg space was made for an apartment house containing seven apartments. The way in which the new building relates directly to the villa in terms of both design and typology produces a harmonious ensemble of old and new and creates a spatial unity.

For Kilchberg Haus Blumenthal, which dates from 1837, is of local and socio-historical importance. Consequently, in 2010 this important legacy of Biedermeier domestic architecture was placed under a preservation order. Today the house is flanked on both sides by more recent buildings. The intention behind shifting the villa towards the historical core zone was to recreate its formerly autonomous state and to make this legible.

Through this move the plot at Seestrasse 162 became suitable in size for an apartment building with seven apartments. In typological terms the new building takes up the internal structure and symmetrical order of Haus Blumenthal. However, the rules of the classic basic system are reinterpreted and adapted to suit current needs.

Externally, too, the new building refers directly to the old house through its calmly articulated facades with uniform window formats and a reveal detail, which in terms of render and colour borrows from the structure of the window surrounds in the old villa. The pitched roof is lower than the roof of old building and adopts its formal idiom.

The outdoor space of both plots becomes an important link between old and new. Borrowing from the original park-like space, the macadamised square at the centre of both plots can be used in a variety of ways and functions as an atmospheric place of arrival. Towards the street the site is bordered by a garden fence that recalls the former design of the park.

Haus Blumenthal is renovated completely. In the interior the classic floor plan structure with corner rooms of equal size is recreated, Biedermeier and Jugendstil elements are revealed. Simple, high quality insertions respectfully continue the history of this villa, which extends over a period of more than 180 years.

Seestrasse 160/162, 8802 Kilchberg, Switzerland
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Task Moving and renovating the listed Haus Blumenthal, making a new building
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 2013–2020
Challenge Building conservation, shifting a house
René Dürr, Fabien Schwartz, Fischer Architekten AG