St. Gallen, Switzerland



Far-sighted alternative. The brief on this sloping site was to design a residential rental complex for occupants with an eye for quality and space. It was to offer a village-style development rather than the traditional space-greedy accumulation of single-family homes – now fallen from favour – as well as achieving the right balance between density, privacy, green space and generous views.


The 14 point blocks that make up the Rosenbüchel development, located at the interface of St. Gallen and its rural hinterland, set striking accents in the topography of the site. They offer their occupants bespoke outdoor space complete with balconies, terraces and paths between the buildings, while the façades, designed for longevity, are typical of the sustainable treatment of the site.


Far-reaching views from every block

The compact buildings provide a contrast to the steeply sloping contours and create optimum views from the individual blocks. The structure of the façades, too, brings movement into the order. Rather than rigid symmetry, the buildings are characterised by a series of low-key variations on openness and intimacy.


Constructed in the manner of a villa, each individual block houses between nine and 16 multi-level rental apartments, three to a floor. This achieves a considerable level of housing density, saving space and precious land resources whilst at the same time creating separate “neighbourhoods” reinforced by individual connecting routes through the site.


Few materials, lots of natural light

The regularity of the cubic structures is broken up by roof terraces and loggias. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up views of the valley and the city and let natural light flood into the apartments. Devoid of unnecessary embellishment, the attractive, strongly delineated punched-window façade is characterised primarily by its striking red-patterned bricks.

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