Roman Hutter Architektur: Kronengasse in Sempach - best architects 24 in gold

Roman Hutter Architektur

Kronengasse in Sempach

best architects 24 in gold

renovation and addition


Lucerne, Switzerland


Markus Käch


The main street and the upper town in Sempach are characterised by their rows of houses. By contrast, their rear side offers open spaces and kitchen gardens. The historical town house mediates between these two different atmospheres. The extension uses a joint to set itself apart from the existing structure, which has a rather broad and massive appearance. The new volume by contrast has a lean, ascending quality and replaces an old barn that had obscured the existing free-standing building. Each of the two town houses accommodates two housing units. The lower apartment in the existing building is accessed directly from Kronengasse. Access to the remaining apartments is provided via the newly created courtyard-like intermediate space. The basement arts centre «Im Schtei» is situated beneath the new building. Sempach is built on walls: the surfaces of the town are almost exclusively mineral-based. Consequently, the new addition was built of in-situ concrete. Except for the base sections, the surfaces of the window jambs and roof fascia are bush-hammered, providing a subtle counterpart to the plaster façade of the existing building. While plaster is an additive substance, bush-hammering is a subtractive masonry refinement process, although the appearance of the two methods is very similar. All interior finishing used wood felled in the local forest by the municipal cooperative. The result is an exciting atmospheric juxtaposition between cool, hard materials and soft, warm ones.