House G - More Than a Residence

House G is part of Mehr als Wohnen [More Than a Residence], a housing co-operative in an urban extension area north of Zurich. Founded on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of co-operative housing in Zurich, More than a Residence aims to implement a densification of housing based on an energetically exemplary architecture, while focussing on social concerns and architectural, spatial qualities, for the first time within a large-scale urban-planning dimension. The spatial programme comprises more than 400 flats with a large range of housing types (family homes, large residential communities, cluster homes, senior-citizen communities, a small hotel, and rooms for rent). In the higher than usual ground floors, a restaurant, meeting-rooms, corner shops, studios, offices, and commercial premises, care facilities, as well as a house service for the entire settlement complete the offer. 

The overall plan is much more similar to an inner-city neighbourhood than a housing estate: the outdoor spaces are condensed into alleys, narrow streets, and large and small squares. Towards the edges, these urban spaces dovetail with the natural environment. The high density and the very deep residential buildings enable a sustainable use of the land and an efficient use of energy. Within this set of rules, five offices could develop thirteen houses with different space-allocation programmes; POOL ARCHITECTS built three of them. The variety and complexity of the building project is to create an added value and richer resources for everyday life. Thus, it was the wish of the co-operative to create different types of building construction within this flagship development. POOL ARCHITECTS erected two structur¬ally pioneering buildings with their House G made of insulating concrete and House J made of wood. 

House G, made of concrete, is placed in the centre of the neighbourhood, adjacent to the main square. Because of its compactness, the prismatic building volume is suited for a monolithic construction in insulating concrete, combined with a shell-type finishing inside. The exterior walls made of insulating concrete (Misapor, 44/49/80cm) are monolithic and also serve as supports for the floor slabs. The inner bearing walls and supports are made of reinforced con¬crete. The windows are directly hinged on the monolithic concrete wall; marquise coverings, window sills and embrasures are modelled from insulating concrete. Two-storey high wedge-shaped spaces illuminate the flats deeply into the floor plans and structure them by their sophisti¬cated, reciprocal arrangement. The living rooms can thus use the depth of the floor plan and leave the corner locations to the individual rooms. The outside spaces are integrated into the living rooms and accessible through generous double-wing doors. The expression of the building is characterized by the large-dimensioned glazing made of the joined angular panes of the two-storey living rooms, which dovetail and break up the otherwise rigorously structured volume. 

Client: Baugenossenschaft Mehr als Wohnen
Architect:   pool Architekten / Mischa Spoerri, Raphael Frei
Project manager:  pool Architekten / Martin Gutekunst    
Construction management:    Steiner AG (general contractor)
Engineer:   Ernst Basler + Partner        
Building physicist:  Mühlebach Partner AG / Lemon Consult GmbH
Landscape architects: Müller Illien Lanschaftsarchitekten
HVAC planners: Gruenberg + Partner AG    
Sanitary planners:  Gruenberg + Partner AG
Electrical planners: IBG B. Graf AG Engineering
Sustainability planners:   durable Planung und Beratung GmbH, Jörg Lamster
Art and architecture: various curators and artists, depending on the construction phase, 


Floor area (FA) acc. to SIA 416:        7500m2 (House G)
Building volume (BV) acc. to SIA 416:    24200 m3 (House G)
Planning and implementation costs 
CCS 1-9 (incl. VAT):            n.a.
Construction budget CB 2 (incl. VAT):    n.a.    
Energy label:                Minergy Eco (calculated for the whole settlement, striven for in the case of individual houses, but not necessarily complied with every time)  
Thickness of the exterior wall (cm):    GF – 2nd floor 49cm, 3rd–7th floor 44 cm, loggias 80cm
U-value of the exterior wall (opaque):     0.5557 W/m2K (static, wall 44 cm, largest part)
U-value of the entire window:        ø 0.9 W/m2