spillmann echsle architekten ag
best architects 17
Zurich / Switzerland
Designed in 1947 by Rudolf Kuhn, the house forms an architectural ensemble with the building at Albisriederstraße 226. Extensions and rooftop additions from the 1960s were removed and the four-storey concrete-frame industrial building augmented with a timber superstructure that echoes its basic form. The first three storeys, which bear witness to the industrial construction of the post-war period, are now used as laboratories and offices, while the new fourth to sixth floors are purely residential. Although the structure of the addition appears at first glance straightforward and simple, the individual lofts are interlocked in complex ways, due to the necessity of insulating both indoor and outdoor spaces from the noise of the surroundings. The 17 apartments are divided into two basic types, both with generously proportioned floor plans. Living areas and bedrooms continue onto outdoor terraces. The vertical stacking creates the breadth of a small town house. All units are accessed on the fourth floor via a single inner corridor. The spatially enclosed internal staircase leads, depending on the loft type, either one floor down into the converted third floor, or up to the new fifth floor stacked atop the former building. The façade has an urban look while at the same time mirroring the internal organisation and divergent uses. The cladding for the new addition in low-detail fibre cement elements is durable and refers back to the tone of the heritage building.