AWS Arthur Waser Foundation
Hosoya Schaefer Architects AG
vetschpartner Landschaftsarchitekten AG
The area possesses extraordinary qualities. Some are clearly identified, while others need to be understood further. The project approaches the task by engaging with the existing, the familiar, the obvious, and perhaps the hidden. It aims to combine and organize old qualities with new ones.
Due to the advancing urban sprawl along the shoreline of the Horw Peninsula, contiguous landscape spaces have become scarce. The predominant development occupies the landscape and privatizes open space through fenced or hedged properties. The project aims to counteract this trend by consciously turning the landscape into a tangible and accessible element.
The project offers a rare opportunity to uncover the unique characteristics and qualities of this natural landscape while simultaneously dwelling within it. Individual and private living, communal spaces, and social benefits all complement each other.
Similarly to a carpet, the landscape area slopes down to the lakeshore. It is divided into different areas with distinct qualities that need to be made visible and preserved such as local natural elements and striking individual trees. Like boulders, the buildings evolve along the topography without dominating it. As large volumes, they provide ample space on a small footprint. Through facets and cutouts, controlled color schemes, and chosen materials, they are integrated into the landscape. The landscape envelops them and flows past them. Visual harmony emerges—a symbiosis of nature, cultivated landscape, and architecture. On the other hand, the differentiated building structures offer privacy for each living unit and a unique view into the expansive landscape in at least two directions. Private outdoor spaces are not offered however, all apartments have spacious balconies or terraces.
Just like the existing structure of the Hotel Management School (IMI), three buildings occupy the slope edge. For the neighbors the situation only improves as the landscape is not additionally occupied. Instead of a continuous construction with clear front and back sides, the volumes are positioned staggered to each other, zoning their immediate surroundings and allowing the landscape to flow through – creating niches and individual spatial situations. The differentiation and scale counteract the type of repetitive architecture with limited usable spaces, which has proliferated in the suburbs in recent years. Placing the volumes on the existing footprint minimizes earthworks on the slope, and previously built areas become part of the landscape. In addition to the existing access, the greatest qualities of the site are found here, such as the almost all-day sunlight and panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding Lucerne mountains. The volume of the buildings is developed through the floor plan. The apartments are characterized by spacious and various zoned layouts. The same qualities can be found in each apartment whilst, differentiation is achieved through the landscape and vegetation. The living and dining areas have views in all directions and enjoy a high degree of privacy. The relationship to the landscape is established through generous, open-concept living areas with balconies.
The point houses blend into the surrounding development as they continue along the lakeside road and give the impression of having always been there. Due to the lower density of development in this area, the point houses offer sufficient privacy and space for attractive greenery. However, slightly further densification would be possible here. The exposure of the Althusbach stream and the preservation of the old walnut tree enhance the quality of the site and intertwine the new architecture with the existing outdoor space. The overlapping of new and old is evident here.