The remit for the exterior here was to create a harmonious ensemble that simultaneously stood on its own architectural merits and provided a meaningful addition to the surrounding built environment. The interior was to provide an upmarket residential space comprising apartments with a variety of different layouts that offered both wide-open vistas and intimacy. The name, casual yet cosmopolitan, it all: The Metropolitans.
More than just architectural accents, these elegant residential towers make a statement, forging a new identity for Zürich’s aspiring Leutschenbach district. The two 60m-high towers are characterised by a bright, projecting facade in limestone concrete that underscores their clean, straight lines and gives then a timeless, exclusive feel.
Exciting dialogue between the towers and with their surroundings
In terms of their overall effect, in an architecturally disparate environment where individual buildings stand mutely side-by-side, these two interacting tower blocks combine to form a shared outdoor space that also provides access to the building. The immediate residential setting is designed to blend into the existing exterior space, creating a coherent, exclusive urban world.
A number of individual design elements are apparent only at a second glance. The facade, for example, reveals a subtle plasticity shown to its best effect when the sun is low in the sky.
The generous, open architectural approach has produced a stylish residential development in which the two buildings are encased in a framework of balconies that gives the apartments a high degree of intimacy, while the open space in front of the buildings bridges the distance to the inner facade, the building’s insulating shell. The apartments measure between 75 and 200m2 and are set over nineteen storeys.
Design flexibility, generosity and prestige
Inside, openness is again the order of the day. The windows extend from floor to ceiling and glazed balustrades offer unhindered views across the city to the distant Alps, creating wide-open vistas to the exterior and generous spatial proportions and freedom inside. The lack of load-bearing walls inside the flats gives considerable flexibility in layout planning, allowing the space to be tailored to individual requirements. All of The Metropolitans’ 212 apartments have high ceilings, while its “attic” apartments feature duplex areas. Spacious and finished in high-quality materials, prestigious entrances and landings emphasise the urban feel and photo art by Alfonso Zubiaga in the lift lobbies reflects the metropolitan theme. The highlight comes at the very top: roof terraces on both towers house “sky lounges” with panoramic views open to all occupants.
The unique features of tower blocks of this size are undoubtedly the private exterior space that surrounds them and together with the generous, sheltered balconies that extend the living space into an outdoor room.