Row Houses in Seengen A large walnut tree stands between the church and the new building, providing shadow and anchoring the site in the village. The open carports, creating a visual axis through to the street, and the resulting lively appearance of the entry facade are tinged with the feeling of agricultural vehicles and farming activities. This unusual typological transfer serves to reinforce the optimal planning integration of the project into the village scenery. In addition, the gable-like roof form with its specific progression mirrors the scenic hill panorama that distinguishes the landscape around the Hallwilersee in the Seetal. The interior architectural and design quality is generated based on a succinct cross section and, in terms of sunlight and views, optimally aligned apartment ground plans. The split-level-like stairs connect the two-storey living units with the cellar, where the shared laundry space joins all of the units at the basement level. The 1-½-storey living rooms with open kitchens and the bedrooms are alternatively arranged either on the ground floor or on the first floor, therefore creating a greater exterior private sphere for the residents. This scheme generates the checkered and varied appearance of the façade facing southwest and the resulting views. Spiral staircases nevertheless allow direct access from the upper terrace to the garden. The living and dining areas form a flowing spatial continuum that extends via the attractive stair space into the upper storey. Skylights, attractive views and visual axes heighten the dramaturgical configuration of arriving home and living. Various measures such as the shared laundry facility, the common garden, but likewise the carport – which can be used as a covered communal space for parties, etc. – are designed to enhance community social life. At the same time particular attention is paid to enabling th need for privacy. The varying sizes of the units also encourage an additional social intermixture. The roof and the first floor with the terraces are clad in gray corrugated Eternit, the rest of the façade area in smooth Duripanel sheets, giving the building a uniform and unpretentious appearance, oscillating between a utility and a residential building. The differentiated play of material surfaces traces the horizontality of the storeys and creates a greater lightness. Each unit possess its own individually formable garden space, designated by poles, but the remaining area and the side vegetable beds are community resources. The transfer and the transformation of vernacular building forms – in particular in terms of the volume and the material – was a deliberate strategy, recast in a modern manner and adapted to today’s living needs. The fluctuation between simplicity, rustic straightforwardness, contemporary comfort and architectural urban refinement gives the project a very specific character.

Project: AFGH, Project leader: Gilbert Isermann