VOLPATOHATZ was commissioned to design a new apartment building in the center of Birsfelden, near Basel, called "The New Lindengarten". The new complex consists of nine apartments on five levels including the ground floor, two apartments on each floor and a single apartment on the upper floor. There are eight apartments on the first four floors and consist of a single room with kitchen, dining room and living room with access to two bedrooms, toilet and bathroom. While the upper floor has an extra bathroom and a terrace around the perimeter of the apartment.
The outdoor spaces consist of a common garden for all tenants, the ground floor apartments have a private garden, there is also access to a parking space for the disabled. The parking for nine cars is located underground, there is also a refueling for electric cars, bicycle parking, a cellar for each tenant and a plant room.
Like a classic Italian building, the balconies are placed alternately allowing each apartment the possibility of accessing a balcony from the living room, dining area, kitchen and bedroom. The floor plans share similarities with a building in that the living areas and bedrooms are positioned on the perimeter of the building while the bathrooms are connected to the central core consisting of stairs, lift and service conduits. The idea was to allow circulation along the perimeter of the building and separated by a dividing wall between the apartments. This becomes more evident with the attic, one can move freely 360 degrees through the living room, bedrooms and bathrooms without interrupting the flow.
A long and uninterrupted living space of 13 meters, which flanks both sides of the building plan, has windows on all three sides of each apartment, creating not only breadth but providing plenty of light in the living and sleeping area. All windows consist of a fixed panel and a glass window or door, plus mosquito net and electric shutters. The bedrooms are accessible from both ends of the living area via sliding doors that lean against the perimeter wall.
According to the falsification of the balconies, each apartment has two or three balconies with a size of 1.5 x 3 meters, soft to sit at the table and enjoy a coffee, read a book or lunch for two. The concept for these balconies was to strengthen the social aspect among the tenants. So the pots placed on each balcony, which are specially designed by us and produced by Swiss Pearl, contain plants that climb along the underlying trunk of the balcony. The leaves, which adorn each balcony, provide privacy from the street and will motivate a connection between tenants to care for these plants.
The production of the balconies was a special process. The Katia programs and the latest production facilities and the know-how for the production of automobiles in Turin have been applied to these balconies. It took two years to design, test, and manufacture these balconies as the installation took only a few hours, which accelerated the construction process. Each balcony has its own built-in floor drainage system with an access panel for inspection. The downspout remains hidden in the trunk but is easily accessible for maintenance, it goes down from the upper floor terrace through each balcony, to collect rainwater. In addition, the automatic irrigation system is located along the downspout to allow the maintenance of the plants during the absence of the tenants.
The previous property was a restaurant from the beginning of the century called 'Lindengarten' and was surrounded by cimento, only 5% green with two Tilia-type trees creating a heat trap. We have managed to optimize the green space on the ground by increasing from 5% to 51%, in addition, we have added the green roof.
The condominium is heated with geothermal energy and the external walls are insulated with mineral wool and not polystyrene, according to the Minergie A standard. The external plaster is low in minerals. The property does not have controlled ventilation and is therefore not certified. In addition to a privacy screen, the green facade creates a microclimate around the balconies, helping to lower the temperature compared to that surrounding the condominium.
The ceilings and internal walls are left in raw concrete, the windows are in wood and the balconies are entirely in galvanized and painted steel. In the building, the use of raw materials was taken care of, that is, trying not to combine them and helping the process of dismantling and recycling more easily in the future.
Architecture, Interiors & Industrial Design: VOLPATOHATZ AG with Partners in charge Nicole Hatz and Marco Volpato and Project Architect Daria Hagea
Landscape Design: Grand Paysage GmbH
Structural Engineering: Eitel & Partner GmbH
Balcony Production and Engineering: CO.ST.AT Spa
Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: Caparol AG Facade System 20cm rock wool rendered
2. Flooring: Lutz AG, Basel Weizer Parkett Strip 45 Eiche
3. Doors: Schreinerei Tschudin AG Münchenstein
4. Windows: Sommer AG, Konolfingen,
5. Roofing: A&B Flachdach, Basel, green roof
6. Stone works: Granit Marmorwerk Staechelin, Efringen-Kirchen