pool ar­chi­tec­ts – Hou­se G – mehr als woh­nen / Hun­zi­ker Areal

Hunziker Site / Mehr als Wohnen – More Than a Residence

Testo originale in inglese dell'articolo "Hunzikerareal, Edificio G" pubblicato nel numero 1/2018 di Archi.

Data di pubblicazione

More than Housing

House G is part of «More than Housing», a housing co-operative in an urban extension area north of Zurich. Founded on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of co-operative housing in Zurich, «More than Housing» aims to implement a densification of housing based on an energetically exemplary architecture, while focussing on social concerns and architectural, spatial qualities, for the first time within a large-scale urban-planning dimension. The spatial programme comprises more than 400 flats with a large range of housing types (family homes, large residential communities, cluster homes, senior-citizen communities, a small hotel and rooms for rent). In the higher than usual ground floors, a restaurant, meeting-rooms, corner shops, studios, offices, and commercial premises, care facilities, as well as a house service for the entire settlement complete the offer.

The overall plan is much more similar to an inner-city neighbourhood than a housing estate: the outdoor spaces are condensed into alleys, narrow streets, and large and small squares. Towards the edges, these urban spaces dovetail with the natural environment. The high density and the very deep residential buildings enable a sustainable use of the land and an efficient use of energy.

Resources for Everyday Life

Within this set of rules, five offices could develop thirteen houses with different space-allocation programmes; pool Architects built three of them. The variety and complexity of the building project is to create an added value and richer resources for everyday life. Thus, it was the wish of the co-operative to create different types of building construction within this flagship development. pool Architects erected two structurally pioneering buildings with their House G made of insulating concrete and House J made of wood.

«More than Housing» provides answers to changing housing needs and social change. With flats for tried and tested as well as new forms of housing, rentable living and office rooms, a wide range of common rooms and leisure infrastructure, we create long-term residential perspectives with an inherent potential for further development. Participation processes, democratic membership rights and a variety of life designs and realities among the residents contribute to social sustainability. On the Hunziker site, a high degree of diversity with regard to age, origin, and economic as well as professional background is part of everyday life.

«Thick types», that‘s how the architects call the houses: solid structures with a building type somewhere between a perimeter-block and a point house. Some of them are more than 30 metres thick and 22 metres high. And they stand closely together, some merely 9 metres apart. The alleys that separate them are tree-covered, expanding into a square or meeting a wider road. Narrow and spacious rooms invite the residents to retreat or exchange.

Monolithic Construction

Because of its compactness, the prismatic building volume is suited for a monolithic construction in insulating concrete, combined with a shell-type finishing inside. The exterior walls made of insulating concrete (Misapor, 44/49/80cm) are monolithic and also serve as supports for the floor slabs. The inner bearing walls and supports are made of reinforced concrete. The windows are directly hinged on the monolithic concrete wall; marquise coverings, window sills and embrasures are modelled from insulating concrete.

Two-storey high wedge-shaped spaces illuminate the flats deeply into the floor plans and structure them by their sophisticated, reciprocal arrangement. The living rooms can thus use the depth of the floor plan and leave the corner locations to the individual rooms. The outside spaces are integrated into the living rooms and accessible through generous double-wing doors. The expression of the building is characterized by the large-dimensioned glazing made of the joined angular panes of the two-storey living rooms, which dovetail and break up the otherwise rigorously structured volume. Those who like to sit or lie outside, can do so on the communal roof terrace. There is also a sauna available to the whole settlement.

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