The new Protestant Zwingli Church in Schaffhausen, Switzerland was inaugurated on March 08, 1959. The inauguration script stated the following about architect Dieter Feth’s intentions: The new Zwingli Church in Schaffhausen is, to use a “terminus technicus”, a consequent architectural solution, that any architect admires. Maybe it does not so much please to the ordinary person. For there is nothing pleasant, nice or homely about the church. The architect did not intend any belittlement nor cheap propaganda but has concentrated on the essential and has strived to create a real protestant church out of this understanding of essentiality.
In 2004, the pure and clear structural forms of the Zwingli Church were still striking. But not only the church’s exterior was remarkable, also the interior with its earth-colored floor, solid wall panels and tent roof was captivating. Concerning space dimensions, the structure was still satisfactory yet some parts of the church were inadequate due to changing needs.
The unique character of the church in its understanding of a real protestant church due to its visual simplicity and consequence of design should be maintained and increased.
As a first measure, the main church space has been freed from the permanently installed benches. Then, the central floor area was visually distinguished by the use of a darker color, delineating a smaller square within the larger outline of the ground floor area. This measure not only defines the central area of removable stooling but also the adjacent spaces. These side spaces are permeable to the surroundings and opening up to the garden or the hall. Two distinctive walls set in an angle complete the definition of the inner church square.
The tent like roof structure is being retained in its pure character, even though roof insulation had to be installed. Distinct consideration has also been given to the transition from wall to roof. It was crucial to meet the original concept of architect Dieter Feth in its achievement of a precise roof line delineation. Technical state-of-the-arts demands such as projection screens and speakers were integrated in order to not interfere with the design. However, the new lighting concept enhances and completes the design achievements and enriches the inner church space with its sensitive illumination moods.
The relatively small and dark vestibule and separate hallway were joined to one larger, open space. This results in an actual entrance space. Now people can linger and chat when before the two smaller spaces were only used for transition.
Today’s technical achievements allow prominent wall planes as one element but still meeting insulation and construction requirements. The balustrade elements could therefore be optimally integrated and a continuous building skin without visually problematic construction details is being achieved. This measure was crucially in order to sustain the visual simplicity and purity of the original design of architect Dieter Feth.
For more detailed information see german version.
2011 – 600 years after the foundation of the Council Chamber – the City Hall was comprehensively renovated. The aim was to enhance and highlight the existing qualities by proper planning and adequate but up to date technical solutions. Thus, the historical façade, the entrance hall, the outer office and the conference hall were restored. This was supplemented with precise furnishings design.
Next to the general building renovation a concept had to be drawn that recognizes the valuable historical substance while adapting the town hall to the requirements of a modern conference center. Renovations and adaptations included the building facade, historical plasterwork reconstruction, windows, curtains, IT solutions and furnishings. The main project-development-tools were driven by the necessity of exploring the historical building substance as well as historical construction techniques. The primary goal was to preserve and enhance the Town Hall’s grandeur and dignity while improving IT to modern standards!
Speaker’s platform and multifunctional furniture:
For more detailed information see german version.
In 2002 we received the mandate to analyze the office building of Maagtechnic AG in Dübendorf, Switzerland.
The following aspects were examined:
The main emphasis of the building analysis and its report was the evaluation of the building atmosphere, the “feel” of the existing built environment on its users and the subsequent ergonomics of the whole building. The building was seen as a place where people meet to perform, work and strive for accomplishment. Building Envelope: Our mandate contained mainly the analyzation of the building facade. Building Systems: The shortcomings of the building systems were apparent to the employees of Maagtechnic AG in their daily work. A subsequent improvement was crucial.
Lighting Design: Our mandate included illumination measurements to determine the atmosphere of the different rooms and building parts. Analytical measurements of the existing workplace conditions were taken. Colors, Ergonomics and Environmental Atmosphere: Elaboration of a new concept reflecting the visions and corporate philosophies of Maagtechnic AG.
As a result of the analysis of the building exterior we determined a lack in visual appearance of most building elements. The impression the company wishes to convey as the “right partner for technical problems” and as “an attractive employer for motivated employees” did, due to the technical and visual deficiencies of the building façade, not translate into the visions and goals of the company.
The existing building of Maagtechnic AG is in its underlying structure based on a strict static order. This asset should be given more emphasis through specific implementations. The office building of Maagtechnic AG had been renovated in two stages previously. The outcome of these previous renovations did unfortunately not result in good aesthetical and technical solutions.
“We are first choice for clients in Switzerland in the area of polymer, fluid and drive technology.”
The architectural concept has to find an answer to the following question: “How does the office building achieve a visual representation of this number one choice?”
Our answer resulted in the renovation/improvement of the following building parts/structures:
1944 the old leather goods factory was destroyed by bombs of World War 2. Back in 1945 a new building was built according to drawings by the architects Zeindler & Hulftegger. Obviously the architects were a followers of the International Style, in particular the Bauhaus architecture. So still today the architecture of the ,new leather goods factory, is shaped by the horizontal parapets and bands of windows.
By actions of previous renovations a combination of these two elements has happened. With re-designing in 2012, we have granted their rightful value to these two distinctive, each 70 meters long, elements: To parapets a red color was given which is inspired by Le Corbusier's Brique-Clair-Red, the shade-type color of the windows is based on the Bauhaus principle of dark frames, together with the glass and the shading-elements the bands of windows are readable as an overall shape. This effect of bands is supported by the 'corners', which are round; both parapets as well as bands of windows are designed to visually running consecutively. Overall, a dignified western entrance to the town of Schaffhausen was created by the changes mentioned above.
The former leather goods company’s interior was up to the end of the 20th century shaped in accordance to its former use: the generous rooms with large window bands were valuable for the manufacturing purposes. Due to the dislocation of the leather manufacturing as well as other manufacturing businesses that rented production space, the clientele of the building changed in time. Smaller units were suddenly in demand and most businesses were in need of office space. Because of the changing in use higher standards regarding indoor environmental comfort were requested. Particularly the windows that were not exchanged since World War II (1945) were in poor condition.
In 2009, because the renewal of the old heating system was required, the building owners asked us to do a comprehensive building analysis concerning energy efficiency and conservation (GEAK). In the course of the building analysis we found out, that the windows were the main reason for the poor indoor comfort (temperature loss of windows: 40%, exterior walls: 25%, interior walls: 20%, ground floor slab: 7%). Since large renovation costs were apparent, the building owners decided to realize a building envelope renovation including window exchange, since this implementation reduces energy loss the most (reduction of energy loss due to window exchange: 52%, reduction of energy loss due to exterior wall insulation: 23%). Regarding the exterior architecture we analyzed the original design as well as studied technical feasibility options concerning windows and shadings. We realized soon, that the modernization could be implemented in accordance with our main goal of preserving and enhancing the original Bauhaus architecture. The new windows adopt the former vertical window partition. On the other hand we decided to let go of the horizontal partitioning, since we assumed that large window panes would have been preferred originally but were not implemented because technically not feasible in 1946. Concerning the window shadings we decided on an automatic drop arm fabric system that conforms perfectly to the Bauhaus intentions. Color use of windows and shadings underlines the delineation of the window bands.
The building owners had the preliminary wish to build a house with perfect room conditions for their big family of 10. This became the underlining design idea. All 10 family members, even the smallest, became part of the design process. Their wishes were taken into consideration and implemented. This resulted in a building that reflects the requirements and desires of the building owners and their children perfectly and therefore is custom tailored to their needs.
Design and Room Configuration
The large space and room demands as well as the location of the building site in a typical single family housing area in a small village in Switzerland resulted in a design with two connected building structures: A smaller but visually strong cube for the parents private rooms and offices and a larger building structure for the children’s and common rooms.
The larger building structure conveys lightness and presents itself visually with a tent-like quality. The common rooms open themselves towards the location of the sun throughout the day. A variety of window openings offer beautiful views into the garden as well as the wider surrounding landscape. This creates beautiful atmospherical changes according to the passing of the day from morning through midday and into the evening.
The generous atrium connects the interior with the garden. The large scales of living rooms, kitchen as well as utility rooms reflects the importance and understanding the building owners have of family live and well-being. The children’s as well as the parent’s sleeping rooms are situated on the upper floors. All of them maintain a beautiful view into the surroundings that enhances the environmental qualities of the spaces.
In 1964, the new building as a school for apprentices was opened. It arose as a result of an architecture competition in 1958. Although there are no lush scriptures available of this school building for apprentices, it obviously is an exceptionally well-planned building. It’s a witness of cubist architecture too. With the goal – appreciating the existing architecture – the kitchen and the Mensa to adapt to today's needs adequately, 2009 a master plan for this area was developed. It was implemented in 2010 and 2012.
Modern architecture of dieter feth continued: tie on, linked to what we have found
On October 11th of 1958 the opening of the Zündelgut School took place with a ceremony. The project of architect Dieter Feth won the competition two years ago. Feths vision was to build a modern school building; he wanted to create "for our children a bright and healthy atmosphere". Over a period of 12 years (1999 to 2010), we have detected the existing, with this we met Dieter Feth in his consistent, thorough and creative work and interpreted it. Vestibule structures, toilets and all the windows were edited; in addition we satisfied the new regulations of fire safety in an integrative way.
Maagtechnic AG provides clients and regional centers with client-specific products. The logistics is centered in their head office complex in Dübendorf, Switzerland. To maintain and enhance the long-term demands and goals, the company is in need of a larger, state-of-the-art logistics center. The new building will be located partially on the site of the existing warehouse building and also on adjacent land reserves.
The new building will not only enhance the working conditions and safety of the employees, it will also optimize material transfer and logistics and substitute the need for outside storage areas. It will accommodate the delivery entrance with quality verification, a high rack storage area with integrated automatic small components storage, packaging, general logistics and goods delivery.
Within the tight parameters of a company given design layout from 1987 as well as a new governmental draft law that was in the process of formulation a new structure has to be designed as an addition to the existing building. In the company’s design outline the parameters of the new structure were strictly given. To achieve the demands of a state-of-the-art logistics center the given limitations and parameters had to be utilized entirely. The goal was to achieve the same extraordinary quality and standards as achieved in the Maagtechnic office building renovation of Busenhart & Partners that took place from 2003 to 2005.
The already renovated existing office building represents the head of the whole complex. This is embodied in a visual technicality and elegancy and by the use of dark color. Between this main building and the new logistics addition sits the existing logistics and warehouse building. The new addition increases the structure volume of the whole complex at nearly 100 percent. The underlining idea was to realize a reference between the new addition and the existing office building by using large planes and a dark grey color for the addition. In-between these two structures, the existing warehouse with its light color of the aluminum façade underlines the emphasis that is given to the two larger structures to either side. The existing warehouse is being framed by the elegant office building and the large-scale new logistic addition on either sides. Thus the three structures are visually linked and an excellent overall impression is achieved.
Altra Schaffhausen is a company that works towards the education and integration of people with impairments and disabilities into the working environment. Although the company operates according to economic objectives the education and integration of these people is guided by the idea of giving the main focus to the people themselves and their distinctive needs.
The building was originally built in 1954/55 and needed adjustments to the changing needs and operation requirements. In addition, a comprehensive exterior renovation was necessary. Especially the south side was in desolate condition because of weather exposure as well as vibrations and exhaust fumes due to the large traffic volumes nearby. The exterior renovation included a comprehensive concrete structure inspection as well as window and window blind exchange. The new shading system optimizes the natural light conditions of the working environment. Within the frame of the exterior color concept the canvas blinds carry the company’s colors of blue and yellow. Also, a large-scale graphic depicts the street address number. This measure not only delineates a new face to the building, it also offers an eye-catching visual stimulation within the high traffic area and highlights the building elegantly. The new deep green balustrade panels correspond to the buildings surroundings, in particular to the river Rhein that passes the building in the same deep green. According to Altras corporate identity, the building appears light, welcoming and friendly.
Building renovations and alterations of Altra buildings in general and of this production and office site in particular include the following goals:
Concept change in Bauhaus Style Building
1935 in Schaffhausen the new children's hospital – built in the Bauhaus style – was inaugurated. 1995, the Ungarbühl Foundation acquires the former Children's Hospital building and renovated it in 1997, so that it meets the needs for residential-use of handicapped people who are living together in a familiy structure. Developments in the field of handicaped care such as the so-called principle of normalization required significant adjustment of the organization of the building: There was a staircase, which was situated peripheral. Instead of this staircase a new one was planned in the very center of the main entry of the building Ungarbühlstrasse 12.
With this single action the untenable operational lack for all four family-like resident groups in this building could be eliminated. In addition, to many small rooms with showers were existing, but also too little, unilaterally arranged large bathrooms. With a comparatively simple reallocation of functions this deficiency was eliminated too.