Escherpark Housing Complex

CompanyE2A, Piet Eckert and Wim Eckert
Lead DesignerE2A, Piet Eckert and Wim Eckert
Design TeamWim Eckert, Piet Eckert with Mireya Sánchez Gómez and Sabine Ameling, Marta Devesa, Kaori Hirasawa, Martin Janser, Ilja Maksimov, Judith Mampe, Tânia Roque, Valentino Sandri, Alexander Struck, Renate Walter, Rafal Wójcik
PrizeSilver in Interior Design / Residential

The site of the Escherpark building, a clearly defined block just outside of Zurich’s city center, is located in the immediate vicinity of numerous cultural institutions and spacious parks. With several schools and recreational areas within walking distance and a physical relationship to the nearby lake, the opportunely situated area is ideal for a residential development. The Escherpark project new construction reacts to the local, semi-urban structure of irregularly scaled, detached buildings and develops an ensemble of eleven buildings out of four unique volume types. In contrast to the existing built context, the new design actively choreographs the subtle variations in outdoor space. The free space between the buildings stretches like a park as a meandering field of vegetation; a system of paths leads through the space, making this inner world between the buildings accessible. In addition to the differences between the buildings themselves, the way the volumes fit into the terrain introduces further variation in orientation and positioning of residences, as well as in their physical and visual relationships to the gardens and to one another. While every apartment is a unique experience from within, all offer framed views of the dense garden. The exterior simplicity of the façade – intended as discrete background to the vegetation – is accomplished through a vertical, ventilated wood façade. Floor-to-ceiling glazing is shaded by shutters of wooden slats identical to the façade. The wood is treated for fire safety such that no chemical components are required to guarantee its longevity.