Housing Rehalp

Selective competition on invitation for housing, Zurich, 2022
Weyell Zipse with META Landschaftsarchitektur

Much noise about noise

…was the name of a symposium that revolved around the topic of noise protection and urbanity and was held in Zurich in June 2022. “Legalizing noise building culture” was the headline of the Swiss magazine Hochparterre at the beginning of April 2022. The ruling of the Federal Supreme Court in December 2021, which stopped a new building on the B├╝rgli site in Zurich Enge, unsettles planners and developers, about the planning feasibility of new buildings in noisy locations. Despite the prevailing opinion of architects that the laws are not based on reality and should be revised quickly, in the end any planning that depends on an exemption permit represents an incalculable risk for building owners. A partial revision of the environmental protection law seems to be in sight, but until this is legally implemented, it is the responsibility of planners to seek the best possible architectural solution on properties subject to noise pollution in compliance with the applicable laws.

This building site is surrounded on two sides by high noise pollution. The project has set itself the premise of providing only “green” (not noise exposed) rooms in the apartments. We are interested in creating quality architecture, despite, or perhaps because of, dealing with legally prescribed noise levels, for which there are justifiable health reasons. Thus, we believe that although tight frameworks are a planning corset, they can also produce specific solutions and surprising results.At the same time, we are concerned to anticipate the future adaptation of legislation, and to formulate apartment floor plans in such a way that they can respond dynamically to changes of the legal framework.