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This commercial building on Eichstrasse in the prosperous southern section of Zurich was erected in the 1950s and was at the time awarded the distinction of “Good building of the city of Zurich”. The project for the conversion of the structure into a multi-functional complex with residential, office and commercial space embodies the need for new urban living spaces. Our approach to conversions is to overlay existing structures with contemporary architecture, without obscuring the building’s original character.
In this commercial building, the interior walls that performed no load-bearing function were removed and the original structure was exposed, an additional story was also added to the building. Precise design interventions reinforce the building’s existing potential, while also lending it a new layer. The transparent foundation and first floor contain commercial and office space. On the second, third and fourth floors of the two different houses 29 apartments were created. In the center of both houses are green, rectangular interior courtyards. Terraces and small, separate roof-top gardens with beautiful views lend extra life to the roof area. To signal the modification of the building’s use, French balconies were cut into the strip windows and red railings were added. The spacious office units can be flexibly partitioned. The apartments are arranged in such a way that they have contact with at least one interior courtyard as well as with the exterior façade and thus have both a view of the city and a source of sunlight. Colors and materials were used to accentuate different facets and to integrate contemporary elements into the interior design. The white plastered walls and bright grey cast floors emphasize the spaciousness of the unique apartment floor plans. The special characteristics of the former commercial building − long windows, visible load-bearing structures and high ceilings − provide special life to the light-flooded rooms in this new context.