04_Live-work complex Kalkbreite | Müller Sigrist Architekten AG



Project title: Live-work complex Kalkbreite

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The project has been submitted by:
Müller Sigrist Architekten AG



City: Zurich

Address: Kalkbreite 6, 8003 Zurich



Designer or design team architects: Müller Sigrist Architekten AG, Zurich


Plot Area:

Gross Area: –

Of which residential: 63%
Public/communal areas: –
Facilities for the public:
Business/trade: –
Offices: –

Number of residential units: 97
Typology of users: Other
Total building costs Euros: € 57’000’000
Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area: 2’489 Euro/m2
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 3,6
Work started on date: Sunday, 1st January 2012
Work completion date: Friday, 1st August 2014


Promoter: Kalkbreite Cooperative
Allotment rule: members of cooperative with social mix orientated to the overall swiss distribution
Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value: 
– assignemen to %
– rent 65 %


Cost of construction max: Despite the complexity of integrating a tramhall and high energetic standards and ecologocial requirements the cost of construction are comparatively low. This was made possible by a high level of prefabrication and reducing used materials.
Rental/sale cost compared to market price: The cooperative activity is charitable and not profit oriented. As the ground is leased from the city and the low construction cost it is possible to offer a rental which is 65 % of a comparable apartment.


Rules of allocation: The consumption of space for the private apartment was limited by 35 m2 per person. Tenants agree to have not a car during the rental period. The occupancy regulations demand a minimum of 1 person per room.
Protection of fragile categories: The social intermixing is achieved with different criterias such as Age, Sex, Income, Migration background. Disadvantaged households are to be promoted. A part of the apartments is for households with children and/or for low income with further subsidies.
Involvement of inhabitants in the building process: Contribution of cooperative members and future users in developping the project in conception and programmation. Three puplic workshops adressed the design process. Monthly meetings to discuss issues regarding usage of cooperative spaces + maintenance.
Community accompaniment in the life of the building: One Group of 20 apartments is sharing a staffed kitchen. Common used outdoor spaces and indoor spaces (Cafeteria, Meetings rooms, muilti function rooms) and a shared desk-office is offering services to the residents.


Functional mixitè: Pension for visitors and guests, Meeting rooms, Communal rooms which are organized by the inhabitants. Cultural activities in the ground floor with cinema, restaurants and small shops to combine housing, working and culture within one building.
Common spaces and shared living: One Group of 20 apartments is sharing a staffed kitchen. Common used outdoor spaces and indoor spaces (Cafeteria, Meetings rooms, muilti function rooms) and a shared desk-office is offering services to the residents.
Techniques and strategies for environmental saving: Renouncing of private car, respecting swiss Minergie-P-Eco standard for passive housing construction with ecological materials. Limited floor area per resident to 32m2- swss average is 45m2 per person in housing.

New part of the city

Located in central Zürich, the 1.5-acre parcel in Kreis 4 had been occupied by a tram depot, and had long been considered too noisy for housing. The polygonal shaped building now integrates the tram hall and features 97 units to accommodate 260 residents of diverse income, ethnicity, and age. The complex also provides a cinema, cafés, eateries, shops and, on a first-floor mezzanine level, offices and ateliers. The roof of the depot serves as a publicly accessible 2,500-m2 plaza: a spacious inner courtyard and peaceful green area open to everyone.


Flexible units saving space

The Kalkbreite complex is serving as a model for new dwelling forms, offering high flexibility and a variety of housing types. There are apartments with two, three, four or five bedrooms for traditional nuclear families; apartments with up to seventeen bedrooms for extended households; and studios with bathrooms and kitchenettes grouped into larger “clusters” with shared common space and a communal kitchen. There is an extra large group of twenty apartments for fifty residents who share a staffed kitchen; and there are nine “jokers,” small units with private bathrooms but no kitchens, distributed throughout the project and available for time-limited rental for commercial or residential use.


Communal live

The building provides large entrance halls, a cafeteria, a laundry, workplaces, study and meeting rooms – even a pension hosting guests is offered.

Communal facilities compensate to some degree for the lack of private living space (32m2 per person).

In line with the project’s community spirit and as a complementary communal space, an interior corridor runs through two storeys of the building, connecting all volumes. Like a cascade, the circulation route moves from the foyer, along the cluster units, to the courtyard, where it meets a series of stepped roof terraces surrounding the courtyard.


Socially inclusive and environmentally sensitive

Kalkbreite optimizes the excellent on-site transit connections and foregoes car parking entirely, instead it provides ground-floor storage for several hundred bicycles. The complex adheres to Switzerland’s rigorous Minergie-PEco

standards for passive housing construction. Limiting the area per resident to 32m2 (45m2 now typical in Swiss housing) allows to offer an unusally large number of family-friendly multi-bedroom apartments.