Roman Hutter Architektur
Kronengasse in Sempach
best architects 24 in gold
renovation and addition
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.