15_Harry Gugger Studio | Hirtenweg



Project title: Hirtenweg

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The project has been submitted by:

Harry Gugger Studio


Country: Switzerland

City: Basel

Address:  VIA ALTA 18 e 18A


Designer or design team architects:

Hirtenweg 14, 4125 Riehen


Plot area – Superficie lotto: mq 5’369 m2

Gross Area – Superficie lorda totale: 5966 m2

Of which
residential – Di cui Residenziale:
% 100

Public/communal areas – Spazi collettivi/comuni: % 0

Facilities for the public – Attrezzature pubbliche: % 0

Business/trade – Commerciale: % 0

Offices – Uffici: % 0

Number of residential units – Numero di alloggi: 43

Typology of users – Tipologia di utenti:

Families – Famiglie
Old-aged people – Anziani
Foreigners/immigrants – Stranieri o immigrati

Total building costs Euros – Costo di costruzione totale in Euro: 14.41 Mill. €

Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area – Costo di costruzione = Costo di costruzione totale /Superficie lorda totale: 2415 € / m2

Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area – Densità = Superficie lorda totale /Superficie lotto: 1,11

Work started on date – Data inizio lavori: Monday, 1st June 2020

Work completion date – Data ultimazione lavori: Saturday, 1st October 2022


Kanton Basel-Stadt

Allotment rule – Regola di assegnazione:

Basler Kostenmiete

Reduction cost percentege compared to the market value – Percentuale di riduzione di costo rispetto al valore di mercato

assignement %: 

rent %: 20


Due to the high degree of prefabrication, the construction time was shortened significantly. In addition to the positive effects of this highly efficient building system, an integral planning process enabled to further reduce costs for on site transportations and work.

Rental/sale cost compared to market price
Costo di affitto/ vendita rispetto al mercato
The apartments are rented for a price that it’s 20% cheaper compared to the market rent in Basel.


Rules of allocation – Regole di assegnazione
Applicants with low income are prioritized, density of inhabitants is monitored (number of rooms per flat – 1 = minumim density inhabitants, par ex.: 3 Person min. in 4,5-room flat)
Different flat sizes, such that in different life phases inhabitants can move within the development.

Protection of fragile categories
Tutela categorie fragili

All flats barrier-free. Selected flats equipped for inhabitants with disabilities (bathroom appliances).

Involvement of inhabitants in the building process – Coinvolgimento degli abitanti nel processo

The construction process was developed in 3 phases so as to allow the inhabitants of the existing buildings to move in the new apartments without the need of temporary moving to another location.

Community accompaniment in the life of the building – Accompagnamento della comunità nella vita dell’edificio:
Relocated residents from former buildings on site received practical support for relocation to new built.


Functional mixitè – Mix funzionale:
The project includes outer gathering areas, communal balconies adjacent to staircases, spaces for urban gardening, playground.

Common spaces and shared living-Spazi comuni e abitare condiviso:
The arrangement of the three housing blocks forms a variety of green areas that the inhabitants can enjoy and share. Each building contains a communal laundry and drying rooms.

-The structure and façade are made of wood which produce 50% less emission of CO2 compared to concrete.
-The cellars of the existing buildings were reused.
-The insulation, complying to the highest energy standards, helps to reach a high efficiency and reduce the emissions.
– Production of solar energy on roofs

Description of the project:

The Hirtenweg project is the result of a total contractor competition for affordable housing that was initiated by the public developer, Immobilien Basel-Stadt, in 2018.

The new buildings at Hirtenweg integrate existing conditions – residential scale, natural surroundings, neighborhood amenities – to create a renewed, densified residential estate. The setting of the three buildings was derived from overlapping setbacks, preservation of significant tree clusters, optimization of flat orientation, rational flat layouts, the reuse of existing foundations and the necessary phasing for the implementation.


Dense living requires a balance between lively communal spaces and secluded private spaces. The new buildings respond to this need through a considered allocation of public and private spaces, activated circulation areas and opportunities for privacy in both interior and exterior spaces.

The wild meadows on the protected slopes of the site get extended over the plateau. Native perennials, wild shrubs and bushes structure the space in height and depth. The tree canopy offers visual protection and shading in the neighborhood garden.


The buildings are set apart from their surroundings by slightly raised ground floors and are accessed by open staircases and arcades. The arcades offer spaces for communal seating and play as well as spaces for individual appropriation at the entrances.

Flats are accessed via entrance niches into the kitchen areas. The view from the arcades only extends into the depth of the first room; the actual living area with its adjacent loggia is offset by one axis and is thus secluded. Diagonal views create spatial generosity and an exchange with outside spaces.


The basement levels of the new buildings are arranged to coincide with the volumes of the basement of the dismantled buildings in order to reduce the excavation and in effect significantly reduce transport costs and emissions. 

To ensure both sustainability and speed of construction, a high precision prefabricated modular timber structure was erected on the concrete basements. The low noise emission and the speed of this construction method are an advantage in the context of the surrounding occupied buildings and the necessary project phasing.

Due to the phased construction, the tenants of the replaced buildings can move into the newly completed buildings, and can thus remain on their familiar site.