baumschlager eberle

Apartments in Rümlang, Switzerland

The remit was to construct three apartment buildings on a 6500m2 site. In accordance with client Kurt Compagnoni’s instructions, they were to be oriented in a manner sympathetic to the surrounding built environment, retain as many as possible of the site’s mature trees and its park-like character and follow the generous existing building spacing – in short, lots of greenery, lots of privacy and lots of natural light. And the entire complex was, of course, to present an upmarket appearance.

Three apartment blocks in Rümlang, Switzerland, create a metallic shimmer surrounded by their lush green surroundings. The project designed by Baumschlager Eberle architects, combines an hexagonal layout and a hot dip galvanized steel facade to impart a strong presence whilst a gentler touch is added with clever landscaping.


The three and four storey blocks with 41 apartments, comprise a living space of 4,300m2. A rear-ventilated façade system was formed for the buildings using 3 mm hot dip galvanized steel panels, measuring 4 m x 1.5 m. A clean external aesthetic is achieved with the deployment of an internal fixing system to connect the galvanized panels to the building.

This was achieved by welding hooks on to the reverse of the plates. Hot dip galvanized steel was chosen to accentuate the hexagonal form of the building and allow the creation of sharply defined edges and corners. The joint grid between the steel plates is aligned to the length and width of the windows.

The development gives the impression of crystals shimmering in a sea of lush green, the hexagonal footprint and hot dip-galvanised steel plate facades of the individual blocks presenting a striking appearance. Access to the 3.5-, 4.5- and 5.5-room apartments is via a spacious stairwell with no more than two flats per floor. Living room, dining area with attached kitchen and loggia form one open, light-flooded space. Most of the flats are south- and west-facing, while the ground-floor apartments have their own gardens providing a private outdoor space.

Images © archphoto inc., baumslager eberle

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