The clients for Unterfeld, Implenia Development AG and Korporation Zug, sought an urban design proposal for the nearly 60'000 m2 site straddling the city limits of Zug and the municipal territory of Baar. Six established firms were invited to participate in the competition.

The heart of our urban design concept for Unterfeld is a large park that extends across the municipal boundary between Baar and Zug. Its unique feature: the borders are willed away and the two communities of Zug and Baar are united. The Unterfeld site is treated as a single urban spatial unit, irrespective of governmental jurisdictions. This is a marked benefit for the site, where there is currently no recognizable urbanity or comprehensive planning. The expansive park, in the immediate vicinity of a commuter train station, establishes a spacious sense of centrality as well as a unique identity for its adjacent buildings.

Two building heights are specified in the master plan: A standard height of 25 meters results from the high-rise fire code, which determines the scale of the contemporary Swiss city; in Unterfeld another variable maximum height of 34 to 56 meters extends above the standard height, creating an urban silhouette whose culmination is the 56-meter high building directly at the train station. The remaining high-rise buildings are staggered to create a smooth transition to the surrounding development. Various architectural solutions are possible within this urban concept. These are oriented to an overall image that does not permit a built wasteland, let alone monotony, emerge.

The set of rules established by the master plan serves to assure quality and includes specifications for the building volume and the design of the ground floor, but it also defines aspects pertaining to the environment, sustainability, traffic and circulation. The zones for projecting roofs, cantilevers and setbacks are precisely defined in the master plan and become an instrument of design for the public spaces.

HHF architects are convinced that Unterfeld must become a mixed, dense urban district if the master plan is to have success. Accordingly, the buildings have a multifunctional mix of residential, office and commercial uses. Key functions include a hotel at the Lindenpark train station, a movie theater with restaurant, cafés, shops, a preschool and artists' studios.