Warehouse, Hausen

Warehouse, Hausen | Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

This warehouse with offices and a lounge is integrated in the residential and commercial district of Hausen by means of its traditional construction and raw materialisation. Through the natural ageing process the wood, concrete and galvanised metal components will, over the course of time, give a patina to this freestanding building that establishes a sense of identity.

The plot is in the western part of the community of Hausen, near Brugg, close to a deep cutting for the motorway feeder road in which a railway line runs on the same level. Forming a counterpart to the client’s existing hall, the warehouse together with the ancillary buildings creates a kind of central courtyard. It was decided that contextual relationship to the existing, economically built commercial buildings should not and could not be restricted to a purely formal level but ought to be created on the typological, construction and structural level.

The hall has a loadbearing timber structure and was built using a timber element construction method. The long side facades step outwards as they rise, and the building has a gently sloping pitched roof. Outward leaning three-hinged frames form the building along its entire length. This cross-section allowed the hall to be erected without any internal columns, which means that high rack shelving can be placed anywhere on the floor.

Additional offices and a lounge form a separate volume that is slid underneath the hall roof. The concrete plinth serves as the lower chord of the loadbearing structure, while together with the cross walls of the office building the plate formed by the roof above the triple-hinged frames has a stiffening function.

The facade panels of varnished Douglas fir that provide protection against wind and rain are mounted according to the principle of traditional weatherboarding; a gap where they overlap allows the unheated hall to be naturally cross-ventilated. This kind of simplicity has a tradition in this location, it is a part of handcrafted construction and creates a familiar identity. The photovoltaic plant on the roof continues the theme of scales.

Büntefeldstrasse 4, 5212 Hausen, Switzerland
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Task Warehouse with office and lounge
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management, general planning
Time period 2018–2020
Challenge Iconic timber construction in an industrial estate