Ludretikon, Thalwil

Studienauftrag «Ludretikon», Thalwil, Fassade zweier Baukörper, Fischer Architekten AG, Zürich

By making them slightly taller than the neighbouring buildings, these two new buildings on the northern edge of the central zone of Thalwil form the start to a kind of “urban crown”. The volumes and the facade fronts clarify a junction that was diffuse and the spaces between them create a new public place. This competition entry was awarded second prize.

In the second half of the twentieth century Gotthardstrasse, a generator of public life in Thalwil, formed an urbanised centre. The two proposed buildings strengthen this important urban design quality. While their grain enables them to harmonise with the neighbouring residential zone, through their density and height they form a prelude to the centre of Thalwil. By increasing density in the vertical rather than the horizontal an urban accent is placed at this gateway situation. The new buildings also allow space for views through and create a public quality in front of the Swiss Rail underpass that shares the perimeter.

On the one hand the facades follow the street line, while on the other they direct the flow of pedestrians to the underpass and underline the connection to the train station. The approach to the underpass is given an attractive outdoor area that can be seen from the street space. The ground floor functions such as a café or bakery are oriented towards this area.

As well as creating intermediate spaces, dividing the plot between two buildings also produces facades to the outdoor space that faces away from the noise. In this way the project not only meets the demands of current approval procedures but also offers a quiet residential quality, with an outdoor space as the centre of the apartment and three-sided orientation with a view of Lake Zurich and light from the south.

The colour of the facades relates directly to the surroundings, to the historical context and to the urban design idea. The glazed ceramic panels in shades of dark red and beige are extremely resistant to the dirt and the brake dust from the nearby train station. Mounting the ribbed facade panels with the fluting running in different directions helps to articulate the building volume and gives these areas of the facade a vertical or a horizontal emphasis.

Alte Landstrasse 165, 8800 Thalwil, Switzerland
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Task Increasing the density of the centre
Job type Study commission by invitation
Mention 2nd prize
Time period 2017–2018
Challenge Transition from the central zone to the historic village core, narrow plot, noise from two sides (from the street and the railway)