i.c.w. Philippe Koch and Jan Minne
Procedure Architecture competition
Surface 7.300 m2
How does an office building on the outskirts of the city of Zürich become a residential building where different people live together and don’t just want to get off and move on? How can a conversion and redesign of an inconspicuous building contribute to a sense of place in Leutschenbach, a neighbourhood in the north of Zürich, where transformation, shifting boundaries and uncertainty dominate? Here and now, Leutschenbach is more of an assertion than a lived reality. This offers opportunities: what is not yet solidified can be shaped and charged with meaning. With the “Thing/Ding” project, we are creating flats for people with diverse lifestyles and a different sense of community. At the same time, spaces are being created that open up to the neighbourhood and offer areas of cultural friction. With the Thing, we create atmospheres and possibilities for the house community and the neighbourhood that – like Leutschenbach – are movable and can be appropriated.
The existing spatial complexity brings possibilities. In between the existing office spaces and the new residential use, we shape what is there into attractive living spaces with as little intervention as possible. The house turns into a matrix of entrances, individual and collective rooms. The heart of the building is where the two existing volumes come together. We foresee only collectivity here, no private spaces. We aspire collaboration with future inhabitants and residents by providing an information office to talk and discuss. To create impulses for meeting and exchange we suggest a workroom, a house kiosk or a neighbourhood café.