The project redeveloped a site originally occupied by a production facility owned by the Swiss Müller-Martini group. The conversion resulted in an organic urban system composed by two buildings, one for offices and the other for residential and retail functions. Themes were developed such as the definition of the street front, functional diversity, the construction of the center and the urban fabric and an architectural language was sought that would communicate with the established city and outstanding local features, such as the arched viaduct of the nearby railroad.
This ensures a city block consisting of the most traditional urban courtyard typologies, structured on the existing urban fabric and at the same time capable of generating a new network of semi-public paths through the site that break up the rigidity of the courtyards and create unexpected and almost scenic vistas. The front of the building on Josefstrasse, earmarked for offices, compact and punctuated by strictly horizontal openings, is differentiated from the front of the building on Heinrichstrasse, designed for retailing on the street level and with residences on the upper floors.
The treatment of the courtyards contributes to the functional recognizability of the two buildings, with the office block being paved and containing only a single natural feature of water and a tree, while the courtyard of the residential building, marked by loggias and vertical windows and protected by white iron parapets, is planted with shrubs and greenery.
Photo credits: Vittorio Dozio