Köschenrüti development, Zurich Seebach

Fischer Architekten AG, Arealentwicklung, Köschenrüti, Seebach

The competition entry for the development of a site in Zurich Seebach consistently addresses the qualities and deficits found on the site. It formulates a development that is a kind of improved garden city: a residential estate of a denser kind that is nevertheless typical of the district, with clear relationships to outdoor space, greenery that supports the concept, and clearly formulated addresses.

The area defined by Köschenrütistrasse, Schwandenacker and Schwandenwiesen is fragmented and makes little reference to the centre of Zurich Seebach, which is in any case weakly developed. In this context the project takes up the typology of row buildings and applies it to a new settlement pattern that considers both the existing trees and the flow of fresh air.

The Schwandenwiesen is the visual and functional backbone that becomes the connecting neighbourhood street, while the spaces in between open to the neighbourhood and the landscape and seek to engage with them. Relatively narrow residential “alleys” between the row buildings, alternate with green spaces resembling public commons. This reinterpretation of the garden city generates a certain excitement for the apartments that face in two directions and provides space for both the immediate neighbourhood and for the community outside the site.

The architecture of the row buildings addresses the differentiation of the outdoor spaces by placing an arbour facing the streets as a threshold and filter. While the modular rows on the east are similar to each other, the three buildings to the west are differentiated by their location and programming. A unified formal language and materialization preserves the settlement’s protected cohesive character.

A hybrid wood and concrete construction is proposed, only the stairwells and the party walls between the apartments are made of concrete for reasons of efficiency. A minimal use of resources, a clean separation of systems and a lean building services concept ensure that, for many years to come, the resident will gladly identify with this development, from an ecological perspective, too.

Köschenrütistrasse / Schwandenacker / Schwandenwiesen, 8052 Zurich, Switzerland
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Task New replacement building with 300 rented apartments
Job type Study commission by invitation
Mention 2nd prize
Time period 2022–2023
Challenge A new interpretation of the garden city, development in stages
Zeno Stefani