gus wüstemann architects: Affordable Housing in Zurich for the Baechi Foundation - best architects 20 gold

gus wüstemann architects

Affordable Housing in Zurich for the Baechi Foundation

best architects 20 gold

multi-family homes


Zurich, Switzerland


Bruno Helbling


The Baechi Foundation contracted gus wüstemann architects to build a housing block in Zurich that would offer high quality living on a low budget. This housing project is a building of nine flats in the outer green belt of Albisrieden in the city of Zurich. The Baechi Foundation specifically requested affordable housing with a great quality of living in the centre of Zurich. Natural light, privacy and a spatial sense of generosity were the focus of this project. The rent had to be affordable and so all the flats were let at a very economical rate – the rent is among the cheapest in the city of Zurich: Architecture for a low Budget – Architecture for Everybody. Morphologically, the building is a solid concrete block, organically formed, from which two courtyards have been excised. In these courtyards, the living spaces float like bridges from the morning to the evening sun. A continuous space which, topographically, creates the impression that the living space is an exterior space and not an interior space filled with a housing project. This results in producing an incredible sense of magnitude in a small space. Economically optimised interventions can be achieved by reducing all the technical installations of the building to a minimum – by Swiss standards. The architects focused on a few interventions that added major value to the quality of the living space. These were sliding windows and a built-in bench that serves as the communicative element in the concrete topography.