Amt für Hochbauten Stadt Zürich
10'530 m²
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Mixed use development with 60 social apartments and kindergarten

Open competition

Landscape: Studio Ha-Ha

Images: luce.

The project preserves the urban qualities of Schwamendingen despite densification and continues them by proposing a two-/ three-storey school building and four rows of apartments with permeable outdoor spaces. On the 2nd and 3rd floors, the new buildings are connected by a "floating residential alley", from the main address on Luchswiesenstrasse to the communal roof garden. The vertical access to the rows as well as the communal verandas and terraces between them are located along this alley. The slight setbacks of the volumes enable a diagonal connection between the outdoor spaces of the neighbouring plots and create exciting visual references. The four- to five-storey rows allow both optimal sunlight for the flats and the outdoor spaces between them, as well as direct access to the gardens. The guiding idea of living in the green is articulated on different levels; arbour, veranda, garden and terrace play together and create a coherent whole. The functional balcony access and the communally designed outdoor spaces offer space for spontaneous interactions between the residents and promote coexistence in the settlement.

The landscape of the courtyard gardens is based on the concept of the forest garden, inspired by the site's heritage and ints ecological habitat. Existing trees will be moved if possible or replaced with large specimens from local nurseries. Hard surfaces are chiseled whenever possible to maximize water infiltration on the site. The school kindergarten encourages nature play in the beech and hornbeam hedges, climbing trees and willow tunnel. The form of the hedges creates small zones adapted to children. Hidden in the hedges are fences with integrated benches. For small children, miniature houses can be discovered in the garden. Different play elements in each house elicit delight. The community garden promotes learning, experimenting, and exchanging between generations. The vegetable and flower gardens attract many insects, butterflies, and bees. Outdoor furnishings can be used in the shared space by residents, school children, and visitors. 

The four residential rows have small differences in building form, which allows for a balanced mix of flats. The maisonette studio flats are all located on the ground floor and first floor of the first row, with a public address facing Luchswiesenstrasse, and thus benefit from the visibility of the location. All flats are accessed by access balconies. One staircase per row provides access to four flats on each storey. The small flats without a private outdoor area are located close to the vertical access, while the large flats are placed at the end of the access balcony. Along the "floating residential alley" on the 2nd and 3rd floors are all laundry and common rooms as well as the rentable rooms. The floating verandas and terraces serve as communal outdoor space for the small flats and are at the same time spaces for all inhabitants of the settlement to move freely and meet each other. The roof garden and the community room offer space for communal activities and are accessible to all residents. 

The modular floor plans feature a clear and simple organisation. The generous living kitchens serve as the heart of social life and the main distribution point in the flat, minimising the circulation area. The living room, on the other hand, like all the bedrooms, is designed as a satellite room and can be separated from the central kitchen-living room. This can be freely interpreted by the residents and used as a living room, but also as a guest room, office or playroom.

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