Lukas Raeber
Living around a social space

The new residential development comprises three volumes. These are five, seven and nine storeys high. Each is positioned at the edge of the plot and arranged around a large, well-proportioned free space in the middle. This space is a site for leisure, while also allowing access and enabling exchange.

The site in Zurich’s Aussersihl district is located at the far end of block perimeter developments from the nineteenth century at the point where the topology shifts to 1960s housing. The new development meshes with the context’s pre-existing, heterogenous texture and enters into dialogue with both development genres. The given orthogonal geometry and established urban structure are adopted and elaborated in the new development. Accommodating the different abutting urban spaces, the building volumes climb higher in a staggered movement. This staggering is informed by the context and its arrangement and creates a harmonic composition with the surroundings.

The spatial arrangement and orientation of the apartments is simple and clear. Each apartment is conceived to allow a view through the entire space. This transparent form of living enables the democratic arrangement of apartments; all apartments have several different views and are oriented in different directions with a connection to the central outside social space.

The facade of the new building is horizontally divided and composed of plinth, mid section and crown. An additional external link to the neighbouring Hardau development, the block-perimeter buildings and the scale of these is created through the vertical structure of the façade design and surfaces finished in different tones of red render. The exterior design’s clear perpendiculars communicate a light and unambiguous impression.

Project Data


  • Lukas Raeber
  • Atelier DWA: Balthasar Wirz


  • Kirsch und Kuhn Landschafstarchitektur
  • Synaxis Bauingenieure

Key Figures

  • Site: Hardau, Zürich
  • Client: Hochbauamt Zürich
  • Type of use: Residential
  • Floor area: 17`477 m2
  • Volume: 51`600 m3
  • Construction cost: 55 Mio CHF
Die Volumen gruppieren sich um einen zentralen Freiraum. Dieser ist gleichermassen Aufenthalts-, Erschliessungs- und Begegnungsort.
Die Raumdisposition und Orientierung der Wohnungen ist einfach und klar. Jede Wohnung ist als „Durchwohnung“ konzipiert.