A new development in a well-established district. Set on the western slopes above the town of Dornbirn, the site lies in a leafy, upmarket residential quarter, characterised by period villas set in park-style gardens. Following the demolition of a hotel annex added on to an older establishment in the 1960s, it was scheduled for densification with the addition of a residential development that was to respond sensitively to its surroundings, offering a mix of density and exclusivity.
From the outset, the tree in the interior courtyard functioned as a central design element. In a way, we developed both the outdoor space and the form of the development around it.
The first priority was to establish its place within the larger urban context, where the neighbouring park provides an attractive backdrop and the semi-urban structures in the immediate vicinity set the standards for its integration into the locality. It is divided into a meandering base, that defines the exterior space of the new development, and the three vertical elements that rise from it, four-storey structures dimensioned in accordance with the surrounding buildings. There are generally no more than two apartments on each floor, accessed by a shared staircase, giving the internal access areas a private character.
A new perspective: urban living
In visual terms, this villa-like development exudes exclusivity. All the apartments have generous links to the exterior in the form of terraces or loggia at the corners of the buildings, thereby guaranteeing privacy and intimacy despite the density levels. The floor-to-ceiling wooden-framed windows set in the striking exposed red brickwork emphasises the upmarket feel of the development. The result is a development of high-quality residential units featuring premium materials and clever layouts that provide a genuine alternative to the traditional single-family house.
We were looking for a low-key project that would blend into the mature built environment whilst making the most of the upmarket location and its potential. Its great popularity – particularly amongst the initially sceptical neighbours – and the new sense of place that has evolved with the project highlights an approach deserving of attention.