Christ & Gantenbein: High-rise at the station - best architects 18

Christ & Gantenbein

High-rise at the station

best architects 18

multi-family homes


Pratteln / Switzerland


Stefano Graziani


In 2007, Christ & Gantenbein won the competition for the realisation of a residential and commercial high-rise, initiated by UBS and Pratteln’s city administration as part of a broader urban renewal effort. Two diamond-shaped volumes compose the building: a 22-storey tower housing 76 apartments and a base accommodating offices, cafés and shops. Sheltered under the overhanging wings of the base, retail facilities along with greenery and seating provide for an enhanced urban atmosphere. The deflection of the floor plan attenuates the noise pollution caused by the adjacent rail infrastructure. Two of the four façades are thus fully shielded, allowing for direct ventilation of all sleeping and living spaces inside the apartments. Combining sustainability with cost efficiency and potential for prefabrication, the innovative use of wood in the façade modules streamlined the assembly and shortened construction times. The reduced weight of the outer shell also simplified foundation and stabilisation measures. The project is the first large-scale Swiss building to use galvanised steel plates in its façade. When in contact with environmental agents, the appearance of this material can change rather rapidly. In time, the colour and texture of the surface will evolve, giving the building a unique appearance shaped by the action of the elements.