The Seebach district has its roots in the ideas of the garden city. The replacement buildings for the Am Katzenbach residential development, in turn, builds upon those roots. The five buildings are only three stories each, have compact footprints, and seek a continuation of the existing development pattern. Their slightly angled facades break up the dimensions of the building forms and, in their dimensions, approach those of the surrounding single-family homes and townhouses. Continuation also pertains to the character of the outdoor spaces, which relate to the “garden carpet” of surrounding lots and can be used privately.
Thanks to the disposition of the apartments and the way the facades are developed, the dwelling units each have two or even three exposures. The spatial organization of the apartments averts corridors and creates large living spaces. The non-orthogonal floor plan geometries produce an exciting, flowing spatiality that is divided by the closed room volumes into entry, kitchen, and living area.
The buildings are clad with a rear-ventilated corrugated metal facade coated in off-white. The relief of the facade skin produces soft patterns of light and shadows that, in their diffuse nature, appear akin to the surrounding vegetation. The projecting round balconies are integrated into the building volume as extensions of the spandrel bands. At the ground floor, the slab on grade and the exposed concrete base establish a transition from the house to the garden. Three base reliefs by the artist Christian Hörler have as their theme the representation of the garden of paradise.
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.