Michael Meier und Marius Hug Architekten
best architects 17
Right behind the tracks of the Üetliberg train, at the gateway to Binz, stands the former factory building of Hans Kaspar AG. The old production site has been renovated and a rooftop extension added that is visible far and wide. The building has long been a prominent feature in this industrial and commercial area: margarine and nougat were produced here for the pastry business since 1925. In recent years, creative artists, architects and graphic designers have begun to convert the vacant offices and production halls into studios, bringing new life to the factory building. A new slim steel construction exuding elegant restraint has now been set atop the stately 1920s building. The support structure and the space within it form a cohesive unit. The reduced steel frame forms the primary load-bearing structure and eliminates the need for any wall panels or supports partitioning the floor plan, so that the office spaces can be flexibly used and furnished. Three wings are grouped around a central courtyard, with fully glazed façades that make the premises particularly pleasant to work in. The encircling mullion and transom skin in metal and glass gives the building contemporary flair while blending it matter-of-factly into the industrial environment. The new façade takes over the existing proportions and structures. To span the three differently sized rooms, the steel construction merely undergoes slight variations in its dimensions, following the varying grid of the heritage building.