Kronenwiese Housing

Zürich, competition 2010, 6th prize

with Patrick Schmid

The Kronenwiese Housing project is conceived as part of the courtyard block structures found in its vicinity, but the geometry of the site allows it to be only a fragment. While following the streetline in the north, it breaks up to the southeast, opening its courtyard to the neighbouring park, and thus providing every apartment in the building with a view into the trees. The building form acts like a plant: It maximizes its surface towards the south and the view by a series of arms stretching towards the park. This allows for all rooms to be ventilated towards the courtyard, away from the noisy trafficated street. Moreover, it facilitates a highly economic distribution system, as every staircase serves four apartments on every floor.

The expression of the building seeks for simplicity and uniformity in order to emphazize the continuity of the street. The stepping down of the volume creates a generous rythmic movement along Kornhausstrasse, while the same kind of window is repeated all along both street facades, giving the building a decidedly urban quality inspired by the traditional european city.