In Seefeld in Zurich a property with apartments and shop areas was to be renovated and redesigned. The competition entry, which was awarded first prize, reveals architectural qualities in the historical building that been concealed. The insertion of a lift, an amenity that was lacking, required only minimal alterations to the basic structure.
The character of Enge, a district that lies to the southwest of the centre of Zurich, is shaped by its numerous historic streets. The property to be renovated is in direct visual contact with Enge train station. The redesign concept aimed at revealing architectural qualities that had been much altered or even hidden by repeated redesigns and changes of function. With this aim in mind superfluous parts of the building were removed and the depth that the intervention should take was gradually discovered.
The central intervention was the introduction of a lift, which had been lacking and now optimises the building’s circulation system. This only minimally affected the basic structure, and at the same time allowed the entrance area and the approaches to the apartments to be clarified. The minimal changes to the floor plana that were required to make new bathrooms appear entirely self-evident and show respect for the existing fabric. The way in which classic elements such as stuccowork, ceiling friezes and skirting boards are exposed and treated restores the building’s original subtlety. The street facade with the preserved fenestration and awnings to the display windows offers the original flair of the 1920s.
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