GKS Architekten Generalplaner: Conversion Residential and Commercial Building Maihof - best architects 18

GKS Architekten Generalplaner

Conversion Residential and Commercial Building Maihof

best architects 18

multi-family homes


Luzern / Switzerland




Goran Potkonjak


Built by Otto Schärli in 1929 in a prominent urban location in the Maihof district of Lucerne, the house was placed under historic protection in 2009 due to its historical and cultural value. In contrast to the prevailing Central Swiss architecture of its time, it is undoubtedly one of those buildings that document in exemplary fashion the transition from the pre-modernist era to the Neues Bauen movement in the German-speaking countries. Unlike the façade, the floor plans attest to a thoroughly modern attitude based on the doctrine of »rationalism«.  


Two large staircases facing the rectangular courtyard give access to two apartments per storey, which are consistently developed around an square corridor. Kitchens and baths facing the inner courtyard had long since reached their maximum useful life and were completely modernised. By breaking down kitchen walls, central entryways were created that serve as dining areas and strengthen the spatial connection to the courtyard. A shop with suspended gallery occupies the ground floor, and the former truck garage in the back has been converted into lofts with newly installed sleeping galleries. A neighbourhood restaurant called »Libelle« took up residence in the shop premises in 2014. The new interventions are subtle, showing great respect for the historical building fabric. The restoration was undertaken in close cooperation with the canton’s monument preservation office.