Friday, July 18, 2008

Zurich: Uberbauung Hellmutstrasse (ADP Architektur und Planung)

Floor plans showing variety of possible layouts.

This is a nice and very sophisticated project, and the architect made time to meet with me (unlike many of the others). He was proud of this project, almost like a grandparent telling me about all the accomplishments of his grandchildren. There are many beautiful moments in this project. The one that interested me most was the flexibility in which the units can be designed and arranged. By using indeterminacy as a design approach, this project successfully met the needs of a housing cooperative seeking a variety of possible housing options within the same building.

There can be large groups of people living together or even self contained one room studio apartments, depending on the make up of the residents at that point. There have been about 5 or 6 changes of sizes of the residences, but they all depend on a collective decision. From a design standpoint, it is very easy for a household to expand and add space, but it depends on the there being space available next door.

All the units are very open and there is little designation between public and private within the entire complex (doors remain open, stairways look directly in dining rooms, etc) and this works because it is a cooperative where everyone knows each other. While the top floor units are small and less flexible, it frees up open wonderful collective space. And, there were even clothes hanging between buildings. Hadn’t seen that in a while…

More Info: ADP Architektur und Planung

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