The new replacement building in Rüschlikon is a convincing modern reinterpretation of a “Baumeisterhaus” (a house erected by a building contractor as his own client) at a prominent urban location. Four such houses form a row that defines the character of Bahnhofstrasse. The new apartment house replaces a three-storey corner building. Like its predecessor it is moved forward to the building line in order to preserve the uniform street profile.
Each of the floor plans of the nine owner-occupied apartments has a simple, economical basic structure. The central staircase, which is lit from above, articulates the plan. In each unit a balcony that projects out of the building offers a fantastic view of Lake Zurich and of the alpine panorama in the distance. The rooftop apartment has an internal staircase leading up to a terrace that is cut subtly out of the roof. A conscious decision was made not to use a metal railing here.
While the new replacement building is distinguished from the three other freestanding buildings, in visual terms it does not break with them entirely. With a volume slightly larger than that of its predecessor, it allows greater utilisation of the site. The new building adopts the principle of upright windows, the proportions, and the grid created by the timber construction in the existing facade. The duality that results from the plinth facades made up of concrete elements and the abrased surface of the two upper floors gives the building a lighter appearance.
The new replacement building reflects the representative character of a corner building at an exposed location in the urban plan, but without seeming pretentious. This is achieved by means of a relaxed reinterpretation of a “Baumeisterhaus” and, above all, thanks to the clear, compact volume.
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