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Hardau I

Housing proposal for Hardau I, Zurich, bringing together the high density development of Hardau II and the open and low density housing of the Bullingerhof.


The zigzagging form of the proposed design has been developed in order to sensitively connect to the existing urban context and minimise the impact and the massing of the newly created high density housing scheme. Whilst the proposal is highly sympathetic towards the neighbouring context, it also has its own distinctive identity and is envisioned as a welcome addition to a district that is full of urban contrasts created by its mix of nineteenth century urban blocks and large scale industrial buildings.

The new proposal is intended to celebrate the district’s identity and urbanity. The scheme is intentionally designed with open pockets of landscape where paths are woven across the site connecting the existing building and preserving the existing openness of the wider Hardau site. These open spaces also directly reference the typical urban grain of the surrounding courtyard typology. 


A new five storey rectangular building runs along Hardstrasse, designed to be in scale and in keeping with the buildings along the street and the nearby 19thcentury blocks. The second building running along the centre of the site, has been configured with the use of a diagrid plan and zigzagging form that allows for the massing on the site to be maximised whilst minimising the impact on the neighbouring properties.

A solid brick base and five storey “piers”, straddle and support a lighter six storey timber building, reducing the overall mass of the building and allowing the highest part of the structure to run along the centre of the site where it has least impact. The five storey “piers” are designed to relate to the scale and character of the existing surrounding architecture and allow more sunlight to penetrate the edges of the block. The main entrance, communal areas, the kindergarten and parking are located to the south side of the site, allowing for easy access away from the busy street of Hardrasse and also linking the communal areas of the proposal to Hardaupark and to the wider context. The ground floor is open preserving the permeability across the site that is typical of the existing Hardau context.

The proposal focuses on two principle material languages for the buildings. The first looks at using brick to emphasise a more solid architecture used for the bases of the buildings, “piers” and cores. The second set of materials used for the lighter floating six storey structure is made up of a white/ grey stained timber cladding (referencing the pale render of the building of Blockrandbebauung) combined with a galvanised metal balcony and mesh diagrid structure (referencing the plan).

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