Im Obschtguet, Uitikon

Im Obschtguet, Uitikon | Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

This housing development formulates the transition from the village core of Uitikon to the surrounding modern residential areas. The regular grid of the floorplans, which is legible on the facades, is a conscious attempt to create an analogy to the farmhouse. From a distance the facade appears to have a continuous wood cladding, on taking a closer look this image breaks up into its components.

Uitikon, which was once a farm village, lies on the west flank of the Uetliberg at the transition to the Limmattal (Limmat Valley). The new development is intended to create a connection between the village core and the modern residential districts that surround it. A number of design constraints had to be complied with: these included use of a steep pitched roof and the typical facade cladding used locally.

A fake imitation of the traditional “Heimat” style was cleverly avoided by, among other things, the use of wall dormers that give a rhythm to the paired houses that are connected at right angles. Developed jointly with the conservation authorities, these chimney-like rooftop elements grow out of the facades that are clad with wooden slats and are reminiscent of local barns and timber frame buildings. The dormers integrate the smoke extractors and ventilation plant and bring light into the second floor of the large rooftop apartments.

The external appearance is dominated by the warm, greyish-brown colour of the cedarwood and consciously creates an analogy to the farmhouse. The facade openings are combined in bands by a steel section that used to surround them. In these bands the direction and distance apart of the narrow wooden slats differs from the rest of the facade. Therefore, depending on the angle you view them from, the slats, which are also used in the design of the loggias at the gable ends, can seem either closed or semi-transparent.

Untere Stockrütistrasse 1–5, 8142 Uitikon, Switzerland
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Task New housing development with owner-occupied apartments
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project
Time period 2005–2008
Challenge Transition between village core and the surrounding residential areas