1/17© Roger Frei
2/17© Roger Frei
3/17© Roger Frei
4/17© Roger Frei
5/17© Roger Frei
6/17© Roger Frei
7/17© Roger Frei
8/17© Roger Frei
9/17© Roger Frei
10/17© Roger Frei
11/17055-spillmann-rauti-huus, © Roger Frei-011
location: Zürich, Switzerland
client: UBS Fund Management
status: Realized
project: 2012⁠–⁠2015

Together with the neighbouring building at Albisriederstrasse 226, the commercial building designed by Rudolf Kuhn in 1947 forms an architectural ensemble whose consistent urban appearance represents a piece of Zurich’s industrial architecture. The subtle façade modulations, the rhythmic design of the stair towers and the large and bright entrance areas are typical of the late 1940s. 

Subsequent additions and extensions were removed and the four-storey concrete frame building was extended with a lightweight timber construction. Now appearing as a six-storey building, this testament to the post-war period is used today as a laboratory and office building on the first three floors. Starting on the third floor, the structure has been converted into new living space.

Although the extension’s structure appears simple and clear at first glance, the individual duplex flats are intricately interwoven. In addition to the spatial variation of the two basic types, this also allows the 17 apartments to be orientated towards the building’s calmer rear side. The spacious living and sleeping rooms extend outside as terraces. The unit’s vertical organisation inside offers the spaciousness of a small townhouse: depending on the type of apartment, the internal staircase leads down one storey to the converted building structure on the 3rd floor or up to the new 5th floor. All units are accessed from the 4th floor by a single internal corridor, a rue intérieure, which is illuminated centrally via vertical shafts, referred to as light cannons. The façade appears urban and reflects the extension’s internal organisation. The low-detail cast fibre-cement panels are durable and create a link back to the foundation’s solid structure.

commission: Direct
program: Conversion, Mixed Use, Residential
size: 2500 m²
team: Annette Spillmann, Harald Echsle, Thomas Fässler, Barbara Iseli, Frank Keikut, Tiago Matthes, Simone Retter
consultants: Corti Total Services AG; Haag + Partner gmbh;
awards: best architects 17: Wohnungsbau/Mehrfamilienhäuser