House Erche

New apartment building in Zurich-Affoltern, since 2021.

For a property on Erchenb├╝hlstrasse in Zurich-Affoltern, we developed a new building with three compact terraced house units on behalf of the owner family. The existing, unrenovated small detached house from the 1930s is dilapidated and has a high energy demand. Therefore, the owners opted for a compact replacement building in timber construction with a natural garden, geothermal probes and a PV system on the roof.

Burchdörfli, surroundings

In front of the southwest-facing main entrance there is a forecourt with bicycle parking and a visitors' car parking bay. At the owners' request, the residents should not need their own cars. A mobility concept was developed for this purpose. The three parts of the house are accessed via a common, ground-level entrance area. Each flat has its own garden with seating area. A high degree of biodiversity was emphasised in the near-natural planting.

Ground floor plan

The living, dining and cooking areas of the somewhat larger exterior flats are arranged on the ground floor. On the upper floor, there are two rooms each with a bathroom and staircase core in between. The open attic with combined bedroom and study has a small gallery/library on both sides, which is accessed by a ladder.

The flat in the middle part of the house is accessed via the garden room located directly at the entrance. The main floor with cooking, dining and living is located here on the upper floor, which is open throughout. The two rooms in the attic are lit by large dormer windows and accessed by a central staircase and bathroom core. The children's room has a gallery accessed by a small wooden staircase.

Floor plan upper floor
Floor plan attic
Cross section
Gable facade

The existing building is part of a group of 36 detached houses. They were built in the 1930s by two local builders and sold individually. The houses are not listed, but the entire settlement is classified as worthy of protection in the Federal Inventory of Swiss Sites Worthy of Protection.

In order to prevent another building project on Agleistrasse, the neighbours there have asked the city council to clarify whether the entire group of buildings is worthy of protection. All planning projects have therefore been suspended since June 2021. In April 2022, the Zurich City Council decided, on the basis of expert reports on the preservation of historical monuments and the assessment of the City of Zurich's Commission for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, not to grant protection. This would have meant that nothing would have stood in the way of a building application. However, the Zurich Heritage Society has lodged an appeal with the Building Appeals Court. The proceedings are currently pending.

House Erche Status: Preliminary and construction project, 2021-2022. Programme: Apartment building with three residential units. Location: Zurich-Affoltern (CH). Client: private. Site area: approx. 550 m2, living area approx. 315 m2. Collaborators: Michael Wagner, Raphael Vanzella, Sophia Disiou.