The Guggach residential development lies on the saddle between the Zurichberg and Käferberg hills, at the urban juncture between downtown Zurich and the northern part of the city. This central urban location is thematized by concentrating the building mass into two meandering rows of seven and eight stories respectively, which span between forest and road. The project emphasizes its urban character through its architectural expression and the design of the exterior space.
Seen against the background of the ascending forest edge, the back-painted, darkly colored cast glass facades convey artificial qualities that simultaneously alternate between weightiness and dematerialization. The exterior space is dominated by expansive water surfaces that subsume the facades into the exterior space through reflection.
In plan, the dwelling units are based on a cruciform shape that expands the north-south orientation of the building form to become omnidirectional, allowing both morning and evening light to enter the living space. The plan, the development and choice of materials for the facades, and the design of the exterior spaces all combine to create a high degree of coherence between urban design, housing form, and architectural expression.
In 2011, the sustained collaboration between Baumberger & Stegmeier Architekten and Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin Architekten led to the founding of BS+EMI Architektenpartner AG in Zurich. Together, the six partners – Peter Baumberger, Karin Stegmeier, Ron Edelaar, Elli Mosayebi, Christian Inderbitzin and since January 2017 Phillip Türich – are engaged with large-scale housing projects, architectural competitions, and urban design studies. Both partner firms also continue to operate independently.