Fischer Architekten AG: High-rise on Birmensdorferstrasse, Zurich - best architects 24

Fischer Architekten AG

High-rise on Birmensdorferstrasse, Zurich

best architects 24

multi-family homes


Zurich, Switzerland


Michael Egloff


At the apex of two traffic axes, Fischer Architekten have realised a small high-rise building. The precise positioning of the volume transforms an anonymous junction into a memorable urban public space. A carefully considered range of functions on the ground floor and a wide spectrum of flexible apartments on the upper floors contribute to achieving the lively atmosphere that is aimed for at this location. The building transitions from a broad, polygonal base to a sleek, rectangular shaft. The plinth adeptly accommodates the site’s geometries, delineating and refining both the street spaces and the semi-public courtyard situation. A pronounced setback of the main façade from the building line generates a forecourt, which, in concert with other surrounding forecourts, weaves a spacious expanse throughout the bustling traffic. The façade consists of dark green glazed terracotta tiles specially made for this project. Subtle yet discernible offsets in the supporting elements characterise the transitions between the plinth, central area and attic. In the urban context, the dark green colouring accentuates the yearly change in the colour of the trees that help shape the character of the place. Seen from afar, the façade offers a nuanced contrast to the chain of hills of the Uetliberg.