From a Farmstead to a residential retreat
In a small, picturesque hamlet in the rural surroundings of Zurich two existing farm buildings should be replaced by residential buildings with various units. The transformation of the place from its agricultural character towards a residential retreat had begun many years ago, however these were to be the first new buildings to be erected exclusively for residential use.
Two individuals with a sense of place
Two new buildings, one with six and another one with two units, complete the existing ensemble in the hamlet, which is grouped around an open space in the centre. The smaller building had to maintain precisely the shape of the preexisting barn, while the bigger one had less constraints. Both buildings however share the same sense of belonging to and adaptation towards the existing structures. Through their different material character - plaster versus wood and fibre-cement cladding - they present two individuals belonging to a group of existing houses, rather than emphasizing their common newness. Formal elements from the surrounding houses like the wooden window shutters or the diagonal fibre cement-cladding are applied in a pragmatic, almost collage-like manner.
Being part of a rural community
All apartments are directly entered from the outside: Either through an openair stairwell or a open hall cutting through the small building, a kind of space which is known also in the typology of the surrounding farmhouses. In that way an fundamental aspect of being part of a rural community is maintained.
The apartment types vary: The Duplex units in the small building are inspired by the character of semi-detached types, while the stacked apartments in the bigger building are characterized by their central transversal living space, the top floor ones enjoying the spacial sensation of the steeply pitched roof.