In the Zurich district of Leimbach, at the foot of the Uetliberg in Sihltal, a new residential and commercial development is being created. The project is oriented on the principles of the 2000-watt society. Awarded third prize in the competition, the proposal by Fischer Architekten, conceived an urban place with direct access to the recreation area along the River Sihl.
The southern axial approach to the city of Zurich in the area Leimbach-Sihlbogen is in a complex and cramped landscape. The road and railway line cross precisely at the competition site. The task was to plan a dense residential development and a commercial centre that would reflect the aims and requirements of the 2000-watt society.
The project aims to provide the district with a new access to the river and to the riverbank path. The large volumes formulate a clear settlement edge and are oriented on the scale of the river and the woods, on the tangential transportation axes, and on the existing industrial buildings.
Four angular blocks combine the two sites to create a uniform overall concept – an urban place with an animated spatial figure. On the western site a services building and the apartments for the elderly along the River Sihl form a clasp around a generously dimensioned local public square. On the eastern site two residential buildings that are moved back from the train tracks form an edge to the river that opens widely at the middle. Staggered in relation to each other, the buildings define an expansive entrance courtyard that rises gently from the underpass and allows direct access to the river and recreation space.
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