Bundesstrasse 5, Lucerne




Transterra Immobilien AG


Lucerne, Switzerland


Residential & retail


4’200 sqm


Invited Competition,
3rd Prize


Hosoya Schaefer Architects AG

Planning team:

Kuster Partner


Bloom Images


A New City Block

The perimeter-block buildings of Lucerne’s new town are characterized by a representative facade towards the street and a homely atmosphere towards the inner courtyards. In their form, mostly plastered with a plinth, pitched roofs, projecting balconies and oriels, they significantly shape the cityscape. Without historicising, these design motifs – the duality of the urban façade and the attractive residential world toward the quiet courtyard side – also become the guiding principle of the new urban block on Bundesstrasse 5.

Urban design

The new building’s volume responds to its immediate surroundings, creating specific qualities in the direct urban environment. It interweaves with the surrounding urban body by aligning with Obergrund and Bundesstrasse and mediating between them.

In the south, the existing situation of Obergrundhof and the elm tree that characterizes the neighbourhood is complemented and defined by the new, recessed structure. A well-sunlit urban square with high spatial quality is created. The concave geometry of the south facade creates a spatial closure in dialogue with the existing elm tree and refers to the motif of the chamfered corner, as found in the surrounding city blocks of the neighbourhood.
The continuous pavement and the lifting of the street profile enlarge the “Ulmenplatz” and give the elm sufficient space to fulfil its role as a neighbourhood-defining tree.

Towards Bundesstrasse, the building presents itself in an urban manner with a classically proportioned façade. In reference to the residential and commercial buildings of Arnold Berger in Habsburgerstrasse, the expressive oriels structure the façade, create spatial qualities in the apartments of the upper floors and follow the clear urban axes.

The building maintains a necessary distance to the neighbouring buildings of the Obergrundhof in order to provide an appropriate distance and at the same time to avoid obstructing the relationship with the inner courtyard. The courtyard is understood as a lively residential and work yard. Planting provides the necessary privacy and helps to zone the courtyard space. The courtyard façade fans out towards the sun, allowing good lighting for the balconies and apartments; its design appearing much more delicate and intimate than its urban counterpart.

The architectural expression gives the building an independent, distinctive character, while at the same time seeking a reference to the buildings in the immediate vicinity.


The building is accessed from the main road via two generous stair cores. The commercial units located on the first floor are interspersed and can thus be approachable from two sides. Their layout is flexible and can be divided into different sizes as required. To activate the inner courtyard, studio apartments are planned in addition to classic commercial uses, which are accessed from the courtyard side.

The upper floors are organized as efficient quadruple units whose layout is identical from the first to the fifth floor. All apartments have quiet, well-sunlit open spaces which, due to their geometry, create a high degree of privacy and achieve increased sunlight than traditional orthogonally oriented balconies with a partition wall between them.
Due to the orientation of all apartments to the inner courtyard, they can be ventilated from the buildings quiet side, thus meet the necessary noise protection requirements.



Zürich office

Flüelastrasse 10, 8048 Zürich, Switzerland (Google Maps)
T. +41 43 243 6313 F.

CAREER: (Please refer to our OFFICE > CAREER section for further information)

Kyoto office

Jimukinoueda bldg. 603, 21 Sakaicho, Gojo-Takakurakado, Shimogyoku, Kyoto 600-8191, Japan
T. +81 75 744 1503