Haus zum Brunnen, Zurich

Haus zum Brunnen, Zürich, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The comprehensive renovation of the Haus zum Brunnen on Zürichberg required that a careful balance be achieved between the demands of conservation and the interventions in the existing structure that were required.

The Haus zum Brunnen is on Zürichberg, in a quiet neighbourhood with single-family houses and apartment buildings that resemble villas, as well as green areas of high quality. Erected in 1906 by architect Adolf Asper the building has a striking façade with rusticated blocks of Lake Zurich sandstone. The building’s generosity and solidity indicate the prosperity the epoch in which it was built. The building substance is in excellent condition.

In the course of the comprehensive renovation new organisational requirements had to be met. A balance had to be achieved between the conservation requirements – Haus zum Brunnen had to remain recognisably a building of its time – and the interventions that were desired or necessary. The existing spatial and material qualities were treated with the greatest respect.

An initial planning study precisely explored the possible depths of the interventions. Inserting a passenger lift in the existing structure was a particularly tricky problem. To leave the articulation and layout of the main spaces untouched, the lift was placed outside them, beside the existing staircase. The conversion of the attic presented a further challenge. Alongside other rooms whose function was changed special mention should be made of the new garden to stroll in.

Hochstrasse 63, 8044 Zürich, Switzerland
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Task Renovation and adaptation
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 2006–2009
Challenge Historical building fabric, insertion of a passenger lift in the existing structure, conversion of the attic level