Blättler Dafflon Architekten AG: Riedgraben housing development - best architects 20

Blättler Dafflon Architekten AG

Riedgraben housing development

best architects 20

multi-family homes


Zurich, Switzerland


Joel Tettamanti


The plot of the Frohheim building cooperative is located in the Schwamendingen area of Zurich which was partially built in accordance with the plans of former city architect Albert Heinrich Steiner. The site is occupied by a solitary figure: a large shape – structured  by protrusions and recesses – the bulk of which takes the form of three storeys and reacts to the small-scale neighbourhood. Two terraced houses and a house on a housing development complement the row of detached houses along the Tramstrasse. A sequence of two balconies facing inwards and a small central atrium are the primary features of these residential typologies that extend along the entire structure. The living quarters are all located along the southern façade and benefit from generous, partly transverse loggias. The maisonette apartments are accessed via a two-storey entrance hall with kitchen, which opens to the north with big windows, like a studio. Light enters the open «entrance passages» via the patios. In conjunction with the balconies above, this produces a horizontal and vertical perforation of the building volume. The exposed concrete structure grows out of the base like a tree-like shape. This produces a seam which holds the building sections together. The parapets are created by filigree profiles. These overlap with the branch-like concrete structure and create a sculptural building envelope.