The new PWG apartment building on Schärenmoosstrasse is conceived as a verdant urban oasis. In an optimistic gesture, it is crowned by an outwardly projecting terrace landscape. As in the American musical film Mary Poppins, the dance over the rooftops acts as a metaphor for autonomy and joie de vivre.

As space-to-space structures, the apartments are extremely robust and flexible in terms of occupancy. Including the height of the rooms, they are orientated on the well-proportioned workers’ flats of the late nineteenth century, connected to the rural idea of a central kitchen parlor. A 2.5-room apartment already has two lockable rooms and is suitable for a variety of residents, from single parents with a child, to two-person shared flats, to an older couple with two separate bedrooms.

The extension of the rooftop terrace transforms the pragmatic top floor into a rich terraced world. With its balustrades overgrown with a curtain of climbing plants, the new sun deck meanders like an Islamic garden around the existing rooftop structures. This gesture gives the vertical annexes the look of being pavilions in the midst of a hanging garden, its character formed in unison with the green fingers of the residents and their desire to shape their surroundings. Overgrown pergolas provide shade and arrange the rooftop landscape into a place of togetherness, encounter, and retreat. The ground floor with a café and co-working and studio spaces opens up to the urban surroundings. It is embedded in an opulent garden with shaded trees, shrubs and fragrant flowers.

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Programme: conversion of the SRF office building for residential and commercial use
Client: Stiftung PWG
Net floor space: 11,458 m2
Project status: not build