Werdgarten, Zurich

Werdgarten, Zürich | Fischer Architekten AG

The two precisely contoured new buildings in Zurich Aussersihl form part of an open block edge development and stand on either side of Werdgartengasse. Floor-to-ceiling windows with subtly different formats determine the character of the brick facades. At ground floor level commercial spaces augment the urban apartments.

In Zurich’s Kreis 4 the predominant development structure consists of closed block perimeter buildings. However, on Schöntalstrasse the block Werdstrasse - Morgartenstrasse - Verena-Conzett-Strasse is broken up into individual volumes and Werdgartengasse, a short street, penetrates the courtyard. The new built intervention respects this situation and uses the opportunity to increase density. On Schöntalstrasse a four-storey apartment house with a roof-top level replaces two older buildings. Opposite it a new building of the same height directly adjoins an existing building. Commercial uses are envisaged on the ground floor of both new buildings.

The facades are characterised by uniform floor-to-ceiling windows that ensure good natural lighting. The fenestration of the higher plinth storey resembles that of the upper floors. However, two shop windows at the corner of Schöntalstrasse and Werdgartengasse represent a departure from this principle. The external brickwork skin fits in well in this district. The main balconies of the apartments are designed as niches protected from the wind, while the roof level apartments have large terraces. In the interior only few of the walls are load bearing, which ensures a high level of flexibility.

Werdgartengasse 3/4, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland
show on map
Swiss Life Property Management AG
Task New replacement apartment buildings, with commercial spaces
Job type Feasibility study / direct commission
Deliverables Project, tender
Time period 2002–2005
Challenge Integrating new buildings in a historical urban neighbourhood that has grown organically