Schöntalstrasse, Zurich

Schöntalstrasse, Zürich, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The new building, which replaces an existing one, stands at the junction of Schöntal- und Verena-Conzett-Strasse, close to the much frequented and densely planted Hallwylplatz in Zurich’s Kreis 4. The new corner building connects two street spaces that differ considerably in terms of atmosphere. Schöntalstrasse, which is lined by impressive rows of trees, provides the address for the new building; in contrast Verena-Conzett-Strasse seems bare and sober.

The basic structure of the building is essentially simple and clear. The ground floor is designed as a plinth and its room height and commercial use are adopted from the neighbouring buildings. The exposed concrete chosen engages in a dialogue with the chiselled sandstone ground floor fronts of the old buildings. High quality materials are used in the spacious entrance hall, which refers to the neighbouring buildings and celebrates the act of arrival in a manner commonly found in this district.

On the upper floors the depth of the building led to the use of a simple “double-loaded” circulation system in which the staircase serves a three-room and a two-room apartment on each floor. The materials used are simple, natural and of high quality.

The facade is finished in a coarse painted mineral render. The uppermost full storey is distinguished by a horizontal concrete frieze that establishes a connection to the corner house opposite. The eaves cornice defines the transition from the facade to the roof with its dark clay tiles. The severe, geometrically proportioned dormer windows bring a lot of light into the tall attic apartments. From these apartments there is access to the roof top edged by a railing, which develops a design and use principle of the block edge.

The calm, familiar proportions of the fenestration lend a rhythm to the facade that is directly borrowed from the canon used in the existing buildings. The balconies facing onto Schöntalstrasse are of moderate depth, as is usual in this area. The concrete window surrounds engage in dialogue with the classic stone reveals found in this district and in terms of material they repeat the plinth and the roof cornice.

Schöntalstrasse 20, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland
show on map
Task New replacement building with apartments on the upper floors and commercial uses on the ground floor
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, general planning
Time period 2018–2022
Challenge High quality urban housing in an existing context