Program: Family housing
Location: Bern, Switserland
Client: Baugenossenschaft Aare Bern
Gross floor area: 4400 m2
On the former site of the Wasser Energie company, the city of Bern has planned a new neighborhood of approximately 350 dwelling units that should eventually house 500 to 600 residents. After subsequent bids selecting the developers, urbanist and participating architects, our plot was one of the last to be issued. Working closely together with Bern based architecture studio Fritschibeis, we proposed a building in two clear volumes, containing 50 affordable family apartments in three types for a non-profit property developer. Two of the three types have been given extra quality in additional ceiling height, by occupying parts of two or even three floors. All types fit together like a jigsaw.
The ground-bound family houses have a double height living space which opens onto the garden. Above there are two linked maisonettes which have a one and a half height living space, suited for families of diverse composition. By using ensuite rooms the living space can easily be enlarged when needed.
In the tower apartments the emphasis is put on the perspective from the entrance towards the facade, through the diagonal arrangement of the living spaces.
These three typologies are complemented by various joker rooms which can function as individual studio apartments or as additional rooms to the neighbouring apartments.
Ultimately the building reflects both Swiss and Dutch perspectives on housing in an integrated whole: experimentation and fun in the dwelling plans is coupled with beautiful materialisation, controlled aesthetics and great detailing.
Project team: Stijn de Weerd, Gijs Baks, Joost Baks, Remi Versteeg, Beis Hurni, Jonas Fritschi, Rolf van der Leeuw, Matilde Scali, Patricia Yus, Ursina Ziörjen, Tszo Ho Chau