The residential building is part of a small-scale building structure typical for the district of Fluntern. At the hillside of the Mountain of Zurich, at halfway from the lake to the Zoo, it overlooks the old town of Zurich. The Pestalozzistrasse is characterised by the architecture known as “Baumeisterarchitektur “of the late 19th century. The compact clear structures are decorated with architectonic motives of diverse epochs and face sometimes with their gables and sometimes with their eaves along the street. Opulent greens move throughout the spaces in between and overflow the existing buildings.
The apartment house from the 1940s stands in its existing form as an alien in its surrounding. In the course of the renovation a new expression is applied to the building, which on one hand brings it further together with the buildings in the nearby neighbourhood and on the other hand gives it a confident autonomy. Through the adaption of leading architectonic motives, like risalit and a pitched roof, an analogy to the surrounding buildings is implemented and simultaneously a contemporary stylistic idiom anticipated.
Through the centred superelevation and its verticality, the street facade is clearly recognisable as the front. The gable is disarranged from the middle, which gives the opportunity to shift the volumetric focus and illustrates the building as anchored in the hillside.
With the addition of visible casings and windowsills, the original quadratic windows are being elevated and transferred into vertical proportions.
The existing apartments are being adapted, within the given structure, to contemporary standards of living and with minor yet precise interventions strengthened in their characteristics.
On the ground and upper floor, the merging of rooms was not realised in favour of the inherent qualities of the present living typology. The wall between dining and living room on the top floor is being removed, because of the shaped roof, which generates a zoning of the space. Only the common rooms gain a new height to strengthen their scenographic effect. While kitchen and living/dining rooms reach up to the roof, the remaining rooms keep the height of the existing building; the therefore gained space between ceilings and roof is used to route pipes and cables which allows to let them breach gathered in the middle of the roof. A terrace is inscribed in the roof with a view from the Limmat valley over the Lake of Zurich to the Alps.
Structural interventions are kept to a necessary minimum. The massive substance is in a good state and is added to where needed. The exterior walls are being insulated and, with a light mineral plaster, wrapped in an adequate dress, which is being contrasted by concisely coloured windows. The roof is clad in metal similar to its neighbours. Columns, railings and guardrails made of steel are kept dark and their construction is dominated by horizontal elements.
With the choice of materials and their equivalent colouring a fitting adequacy is obtained on the inside as well as on the outside.