Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer, Architects, Zurich

Collaborators: Markus Seiler (Team and Project Manager), Lorenzo Igual,
Rolf-Werner Wirtz, Ulrike Horn
Competition: Autumn 2003, 1st Prize
Planning / Construction: 2004 – 2007
Gross Floor Area (based on SIA 416): 18‘437 m2
Client: Stiftung Wohnungen für kinderreiche Familien, Zurich
Architect Day: Gigon/Guyer

Two slightly angled, elongated volumes of different heights bound Buchegg Park. The six storey building on Hofwiesenstrasse is oriented towards the park and follows the street. It shields the park from the street and protects it from the traffic noise. The four to five storey building on Brunnenhofstrasse is surrounded by green on both sides, making it a ‘house within the park’.

Both buildings are conceived as ‘stacks’ of horizontal plates which cantilever to varying degrees. Facing the park they form generous balconies and towards the street they provide stairways with loggias.

For the noise affected building on Hofwiesenstrasse, access to the apartments is via longitudinally arranged staircases and loggias. The loggias adjoin the eat-in kitchens and serve as protected exterior spaces oriented towards the evening sun. All bedrooms are situated towards the quiet park side. The living rooms flow through the apartment and face both east and west. Towards the park side they lead onto generous balconies.

Within the Brunnenhofstrasse building, the living rooms are positioned along the facade and are oriented towards the park to the south and southeast via adjoining balcony areas. A circuit-like layout grants all apartment types spatial generosity, freedom of movement and enhanced flexibility of use.

The latter is further enhanced within the ground floor apartments by means of anterooms between them, each with their own access. The entrance lobbies on the ground floor are connecting rooms that link to the park and provide space for pushchairs, scooters, children’s bikes and toys.

Both residential buildings are accessed from the street via forecourts. A continuous hedgerow along the street creates a green zone. The entrance lobbies on the ground floor are connecting rooms that link to the park. The park-facing apartments are elevated by half a storey to allow the inclusion of gardens and play areas, between the park and the building. The two kindergartens and nursery are housed at the end of both buildings where the pathway to the park is situated.

The facades are formed by the projecting balconies and the concrete bands that wrap horizontally around the building. Between them, storey-height windows and alternately coloured glass panels with sliding anti-sun and screening elements form an interplay of reflecting, matt, translucent and transparent coloured surfaces. The colour concept was developed together with the artist Adrian Schiess. Facing the street, the glazing is dark blue and violet, while facing the park the colour tones flow over large spaces from blue tones to green and then red. The impression of the fluid, changing play of colours is enhanced by the varying positions of the sliding elements – ultimately the residents amend and create new colour compositions every day, even every hour.