Lerchenweg housing development, Kloten

Lerchenweg, Kloten | Fischer Architekten AG, Zürich

The visual character of the town of Kloten is shaped by its infrastructure projects. The airport and the traffic axes form strong caesuras between the different quarters and thus create a heterogenous image. One of these quarters to the south of the town extends into an area of woodland. Fischer Architekten were awarded first prize for their proposal for several new and strongly influential replacement buildings in this location. Their design responds in a carefully considered way to the existing development structure.

The development quarter is cut off from the town by the train tracks and is surrounded by woods. The new buildings take up the dominant existing garden city typology with row buildings and fluidly organised green space that allows the public to access and experience the edge of the woods. Thanks to the development’s appropriate size the identity of the entire settlement niche is strengthened by the continuation of the garden city idea and, hopefully, is also clarified for any future developments. This approach was arrived at by making a precise analysis of the individual plots of the existing development, which through its row buildings, the way it creates addresses on the street, and its north-south orientation already makes good use of the many qualities offered by the location.

A gentle, gradual transition from the street to the woods is achieved by means of zones that are public to different degrees. Numerous meeting places equipped in various ways offer residents, the owners of the nearby allotment gardens, and the entire neighbourhood many opportunities to spend time together, to play or to garden. Each of the apartments has a balcony facing south-southwest. It directs the gaze towards the edge of the woods and is the focus of each apartment. Despite the apparently free external form and the different lengths of the buildings, the apartment floorplans are built up in a modular way using three main types. A timber facade that is sustainable in terms of energy terms and CO2 emissions strengthens the feeling of a settlement positioned at the edge of the woods. A striking roof offers protection from the elements, creates a connection to the dominant pitched roofs, and defines a new eaves height in the quarter.

Lerchenweg 10–40, Wallisellerstrasse 8/10, 8302 Kloten, Switzerland
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Task New replacement buildings that offer 225 rental apartments, located in a garden city development dating from the 1950s
Job type Study commission by invitation
Mention 1st prize
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, general planning
Time period 2020–2027
Challenge Translating the dominant existing garden city typology into a contemporary condensed form