Reuter Raeber Architekten

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+41 61 561 52 92
Vogesenstrasse 104, 4056 Basel, Schweiz

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Beschreibung


Glass, concrete, wood, and metal serve as the basis for drawing rich associations between space, structure, material, and location. What emerges is a house distinguished by contrasting interplays between heavy and light, load and support.

The horizontal building structure is thoughtfully embedded into the contours of the hillside; the transition from the interior to the exterior seamless and fluid. The narrow retaining walls bordering the residence and the enveloping yard give shape to a courtyard setting and preserve the palpable feel of the sloping terrain. A set of steps delineates the spatial flow of the interiors from entryway to the living, dining, and kitchen areas, picking up on the character of the descending outdoor terrain. The floor, fireplace, and two exterior load-bearing shear walls are made of concrete. A homogeneous structure, seemingly cast in one piece, encases the living room and serves as the foundation to the overlying wood construction.

A solid wood construction consisting of four exterior sheer walls and two transverse walls forms the structure of the overlying story, where the bedrooms are located. The wood construction is left exposed to the interior, while glass and metal surfaces form a weather barrier on the exterior. The wood structure rests on two vertical concrete shear walls, cantilevering to the front and back. It is stabilized by way of cross-bracing steel tension bars on the east- and west-facing windows that hold the two wooden shear walls together. The ceiling on the ground floor is hung front to back by way of tension rods attached to the two transverse steel roof beams.

The concrete construction on the ground level and the wood construction on the upper level interlock at two key junctions: the transverse concrete wall balanced over the fireplace forms the rear wall of the upstairs master bedroom and concrete bathtub; on the opposite side by the staircase, the wood construction runs through to the ground level. Two differing construction methods join in mutual dependency. What emerges is a static balancing act that unleashes an energetic, expansive sense of space and engenders an architectural language rich in associations.

Th century in Basel. On the outside the heritage building was mainly left as found. On the inside the apartments on the lower five levels were carefully restored in the manner of the old house. The attic on top was remodeled into an independent apartment.

The apartment is a wide open space. It is parted in sequences based on the floor plan and the distinct geometry of the roof. The central feature is a hoovering living-room furniture, which consists of a kitchen, a bookshelf and a fireplace, all in one. It offers multiple uses in a confined space. The resident can use and equip the furniture according to his needs. For example items can be placed in the bookshelf or hung on the support bar of the kitchen.

On one end the central living-room furniture hangs on one of the wooden ties with the integrated fireplace whereas on the other end it stands on the floor. A tense balancing act is created by encompassing the existing structure of the old attic and by taking it one step further.

The starting point for the design was an apartment building in Kleinbasel from the turn of the 20th century. In the context of neighborhood gentrification and reduced traffic through the Horburg Tunnel, the design intent was to renovate and vertically extend the existing building. The apartment units on the five lower floors have been carefully restored to their original character and the existing attic space has been expanded and converted into an additional apartment.

The roof extension has been constructed using prefabricated wood elements. The upper floor of the two-story rooftop apartment has been inserted between two sidewalls that span 9 meters from the firewall of one neighboring house to the other, forming a bridge-like element that serves a key structural role. They allow for an open, column-free floor plan and support the roof like two oversized center purlins. A narrow, longitudinally oriented staircase with closely spaced vertical slats connects the two levels. On the upper level, conceived as a house within a house, is a bedroom. Directly below are the main living area, kitchen, bathroom, and an enclosed room. The design of the structure and the useable surface area on the second floor allow for the ceiling of the living area to extend on both sides to the upper level. Penetrating the sidewalls and containing built-in components for books, the windows emanate a reinforcing quality. The chrome window reveals reflect a high degree of light, contrasting with the darkly varnished structural spruce wood construction, light oak wood parquet flooring, and white plaster finish of the ceiling and firewalls. What emerges is juxtaposition between refined and rough, streamlined and comfortable.

As an urban design response to the site, the project positions itself as a long, extended volume, which is dissolved in horizontal, independent glazed bodies. This glazed conglomerate reflects the tradition of pavilions set within park landscapes. This strategy generates a strong special diversity to the outside and to the inside. By means of its reflections, intersections and penetrations, the project interlocks with its context and becomes an almost natural part of it. During the daytime, the filigree, glazed facades of the single volumes mirror the surrounding. At night, this impression is reversed by revealing the vivid interior urbanity to the outside.

The project attempts to strengthen the local identity of zurich’s district 5 and the services it provides by means of five ‘bastions’ – buildings in five separate locations constructed as targeted interventions. with both conceptual clarity and using the concrete actions of urban development, the project reacts against the co-option of this area through commercialization and real estate speculation.

As bastions of the area and its social life, the buildings are intended to create a stand against ‘gentrification’ – that is, against ongoing demographic changes in district 5. through the establishment of a youth center with apprenticeship programs; the upgrading of a rundown building into a local trading center; setting up retirement homes and a local care centre; the construction of a local service center with social housing; and through placing a cultural center with event hall next to the train station, important pre-existing social and cultural programs will be accommodated and expressed in concise architectural language.

The buildings are intended to firmly establish the area’s structures as important monuments – and the way in which they are arranged will create public spaces, which can be activated in manifold ways by being used for temporary events. these public spaces will continue into the buildings’ interiors, and so construct cordon sanitaires that would contribute to the interaction of the respective social and cultural programs. the resulting typologies, from both the exterior and the interior, create an effect of openness and scope for versatile annexations.

The urban development strategy of selected interventions will logically be carried through on further architectural levels. while the buildings themselves will physically alter the area and define the cityscape, the programs – which will be strengthened by the bastions in which they are housed – concentrate on the immediate environment. In addition to the general effect on district 5 further local zones will be created that could each take on their own civic qualities.

Patrick Reuter holds a Master in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). During his studies he participated in an exchange semester at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FADU), University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in 2007. The ETH Architecture Yearbook featured his diploma project in 2008. Prior to founding the atelier Patrick has been working for the Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris and for the architects Richter-Dahl Rocha in Buenos Aires. After returning to Switzerland, Patrick joined Christ & Gantenbein Architects in Basel, where he contributed, among others, to the winning project proposal of the new Kunstmuseum Basel. Furthermore, Patrick also taught at the design studio of Marc Angélil`s chair at the ETH Zurich in 2011 as well as 2012.

Lukas Raeber holds a Master in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). During his studies he participated in an exchange semester at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) with Peter Zumthor as well as in an exchange semester at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Tokyo with Manabu Chiba. During his time at the ETH, Lukas also studied with Visiting Professor Hani Rashid. His thesis work was published in the ETH Architecture Yearbook of 2009. Prior to founding their atelier Lukas taught at the design studio of Marc Angélil`s chair at the ETH Zurich between 2009 and 2012. In addition, he has also been working for Frank Gehry in Los Angeles and Diller Scofidio + Renfro in New York.

Lukas Raeber holds a Master in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). During his studies he participated in an exchange semester at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) with Peter Zumthor as well as in an exchange semester at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Tokyo with Manabu Chiba. During his time at the ETH, Lukas also studied with Visiting Professor Hani Rashid. His thesis work was published in the ETH Architecture Yearbook of 2009. Prior to founding their office Lukas taught at the design studio of Marc Angélil`s chair at the ETH Zurich between 2009 and 2012. In addition, he has also been working for Frank Gehry in Los Angeles and Diller Scofidio + Renfro in New York

Patrick Reuter holds a Master in Architecture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). During his studies he participated in an exchange semester at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FADU), University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in 2007. The ETH Architecture Yearbook featured his diploma project in 2008. Prior to founding the atelier Patrick has been working for the Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris and for the architects Richter-Dahl Rocha in Buenos Aires. After returning to Switzerland, Patrick joined Christ & Gantenbein Architects in Basel, where he contributed, among others, to the winning project proposal of the new Kunstmuseum Basel. Furthermore, Patrick also taught at the design studio of Marc Angélil`s chair at the ETH Zurich in 2011 as well as 2012.