The municipality of Rüschlikon is located on the western shore of Lake Zurich and is characterized by a heterogeneous urban fabric, mostly consisting of one- and two-family buildings with pitched roofs and a steep terrain that slopes down to the water from its highest point. The competition area is located along the train tracks, starting adjacent to the station and extending southwards into a residential area.
The competition brief foresees six residential buildings, an underground parking and a supermarket to be developed on the plot. The urban context requires great attention in defining the new volumes in accordance with the surrounding buildings and renders the use of pitched roofs inevitable for an optimal insertion of the project.
The building at the northern end faces the square in front of the station, creating a direct relationship with the two existing historical buildings. A compact volume accommodates offices on the upper floors and a supermarket on the ground and lower level.
The other five buildings relate to the surrounding residential blocks. All the roofs have an inclination between 10° and 25° and their shape reacts specifically to the site: the front façades offer a sculptural, urban character towards Bahnhofstrasse and the railway tracks, while on the sides the roof folds towards the gardens, providing an everyday, domestic stage.
The short façades on the street and the railway define the address of the buildings: the main entrance on Bahnhofstrasse has an urban and more public character than the one on the railway side. All the residential buildings enjoy this double access, that connects the two main levels at the street and the garden along the railway, thus maximizing the accessibility of the indoor and outdoor spaces.
The garden on the upper level is crossed by a path along the tracks. This space is conceived in different levels: the first is a flower meadow interspersed with small trees and shrubs, while closer to the buildings the vegetation grows into herbaceous borders providing privacy on the lower floors. The gardens between the buildings are available for residents as a place to socialize, relax in the shade, grill together or for gardening.
The apartments live from the duality of private and public character. The garden room, kitchen and living area form a unit with a strong connection to the outdoor spaces. Large sliding elements allow these rooms to be joined in good weather, thus merging the interior with the outdoor space. The rational arrangement of the bedrooms along the façade and of the bathrooms in the central area allows a certain flexibility of the typological mix.