The building is organized into three juxtaposed bodies in the form of a cross which adapts itself to the irregular shape of the land. In total it contains 49 apartments which are accessed through 3 connecting areas where the elevators and stairs are located.
From these spaces, the heart of each unit, a distortion is introduced to the right angle pattern of the discrete design of the group of units, which is projected as a vibration towards the interior of the apartments, and which, on the upper floor, breaks the regularity of the volume, expressed with freedom.
The rooms are varied both in terms of size and shape, and in their relations to the exterior spaces of the group.
The criterion used to organize the program in the interior is, however, common to all the private areas, – parents’ and children’s bedrooms are dispersed, located at the furthest extremes of the floor plan. This decision ensures the intimacy of each and grants a role of exchange, connection and articulation in family life to the common areas between; they become dynamic spaces through which the units are connected with intermediate exteriors and through them with the urban setting.
Both from a formal/volumetric and a material point of view, the proposal for the collective living space contest in Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland for 2007 created by the office HHF Architects, represents a transition element between a suburban area, mainly comprising small-scale isolated volumes, and an urban zone of medium density.
The cross-shaped volume; the dimensions of the hall; the discontinuities in the roofing and deviations in the facades generate a volume that is ambiguous in scale and configuration, which in turn articulates the scale of the village with that of the continuous block of the adjacent urban zones.
The permeability of the first level of the network of pedestrian or bicycle paths, and the strategy of repetition and interval in the configuration of the façade, are decisions that aim to strengthen their job as mediator between the preexisting elements, both in formal and symbolic terms.
The expression of the group ends with the choice of material for the covering of the concrete structure.
The use of two tones of brick in the covering of the structure and the openings as a result of the “absence” of wall, seem to call reference to structural operations and operations developed of modernism from the 50s, where the expression of a precise structure, a cheap wall filling and a compact volume, associate the project with a reasonable operation that is economically viable and sustainable in scale, technology and materials.
Text by Cecilia Puga