Invited competition for housing, Zurich, 2023


Keeping what`s good

Architects are facing major challenges today. According to the Swiss Federal Office for Environment, 84% of waste in Switzerland comes from the construction industry – 30% more than in Germany, for example. No matter how sustainably we manage to construct new buildings, the most sustainable measure is always the preservation of existing buildings and their continued use through renovation, conversion and transformation. Nevertheless, it is equally important not to adopt a dogmatic stance, but to assess each situation specifically. New replacement buildings can be socially sustainable if, for example, they create urban upgrades or contribute to more urgently needed living space. Building land is becoming scarcer, especially in cities and conurbations. For this reason, densification and inward development are becoming increasingly important. In the case of Swiss replacement new build practice, every demolished apartment is usually replaced by two new ones on average, while the living space is actually tripled. (Source: SBV, Schweizerischer Baumeisterverband).