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Seniorenresidenz Multengut Development

Contemporary Building in Switzerland – design by Burkhalter Sumi Architekten

11 Jul 2008

Multengut housing for senior citizens

Date built: 2002-04
Design: Burkhalter Sumi Architekten

Photographs : Heinrich Helfenstein

Seniorenresidenz Multengut, Swiss Housing

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The two similar building volumes – comparable to the Tintin detectives “Thomson” and “Thompson” – are specified in the design plan. They define a courtyard-like external space that forms the social centre of the complex with a view of Multengut, which gives the complex its name.

This outdoor space is a place of arrival and a pleasure garden for both visitors and residents with aviaries and playing fountains. Cherry trees and hedges of box and beech create different moods according to the time of year.

The dominant architectural element is the almost 90-metre long wooden platform that forms a relaxation and sun terrace in the tradition of classic 19th century Alpine hotels. Foyer, dining room, lounge, library, fireplace room and lecture room are placed directly behind the veranda. The typological character and sequence of these spaces as well as the sheer endless front of windows also makes an explicit reference to the fascinating world of the social spaces in these hotels, and in particular to the typologies of verandas such as the one in Hotel Schatzalp in Davos, which achieved fame through Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain.

An underground passageway connects both wings of the building and facilities such as wellness rooms, laundry, massage room and music room are also arranged along it. Roof lights allow natural light to flow into these spaces. Blue “light canons” next to the lift cores mark the steps leading up to both buildings. Together with the passageway they form the spine of the complex and serve as an aid to orientation both inside and outside the two buildings.

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The residential levels are based on a double-loaded corridor system with two-room apartments facing west and east. There are three-room apartments at the ends of the building. The colourfully painted rue intÈrieure is lit from the staircases and the “light canons”. The nursing section is located on the first floor of the main building.

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client: GVB Gebäudeversicherung des Kantons Bern

client consultation: Jörg + Sturm Architekten AG, Langnau im Emmental

architecture: burkhalter sumi architekten gmbh, Zürich

staff: Yves Schihin, Florian Schoch, Bettina Halbach

general contractor: Halter Generalunternehmung, Zürich

engineering: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer AG, Zürich

SHAC and electronic engineering: 3-Plan Haustechnik, Muri and Kreuzlingen

landscape architecture: David Bosshard Landschaftsarchitektur, Bern

art: Balthasar Burkhard, Bern

address: Mettlengässli 8 /10, Muri BE


competition: 2002, 1st prize

apartments: 100
nursing rooms: 26
parking: 27
land area: 8’700 m2
index of land area: 0.8

construction costs (BKP 2): Fr. 28’900’000.-
construction costs (BKP 1-5): Fr. 39’300’000.-
cubature (SIA 116): 51’200 m3
effective area HNF (SIA 416): 10’851 m2
construction costs/m3 (BKP 2): Fr. 564.-
construction costs/m2 (BKP 2): Fr. 2’663.-

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photo: Heinrich Helfenstein, Zürich

Seniorenresidenz Multengut images / information from Burkhalter Sumi Architekten Jul 2008

Burkhalter Sumi Architekten

Location: Muri, Switzerland, central Europe

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