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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

St. Josef Parish Centre in Zurich, Switzerland by Frei + Saarinen Architekten

 
October 12th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Frei + Saarinen Architects converted a 100-years-old Parish Centre in Zurich and implanted a new wooden lobby with a unique atmosphere that is generated by a clash of „trendy“ facetted geometries and an old fashioned way of detailing. The geometry of the new lobby is the consequence of stretching the formerly enclosed space towards the facades and respecting the given bearing structure. A new rooflight accentuates the entrance to the hall (see plan). Additionally this vertical element  „slows down“ the dynamic character of the lobby. Aditionally,  a new appartment for the priest was designed at the top level. Since a part of the former bigger terrace was covered by a roof-extension, a portion of the tilted roof became a tilted interior wall. Thereby a new pentagonal room with four tilted walls is generated – the priest’s new „tilted“ living room.

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

  • Architects: Frei + Saarinen Architekten
  • Project: St. Josef Parish Centre
  • Location: Roentgenstrasse 80, CH-8005 Zurich, Switzerland
  • Photographs: Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser, Hannes Henz
  • Designer: Frei + Saarinen Architekten
  • Frei + Saarinen Architekten
  • Team Members: Barbara Frei, Martin Saarinen, Nicolaj Bechtel, Stefan Wülser, Corina Trunz, David Winzeler, Bastien Turpin
  • Client: Roman-Catholic Church Zurich
  • Build Area: 1,200 m2 Usable Area
  • Finishing Material: Floor / Wall / Ceiling
    Floor: Brushed, Coloured and Sealed Parquet (Oak)
  • Completion: 2010

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Only two new elements are seen from outside: The new fully glazed entrance to the lobby (the glass is a custom product weighting 1.5 tons) and the new dormer window leading from the priest’s living room to the terrace thet can be partly covered by a „James-Bond-Marquee“ (see also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z-DlrORjC4 ).

Image Courtesy Hannes Henz

Why a fully mirroring glazed new entrance?

The new entrance makes opens the previously introverted lobby an inviting place fore everyone. The new entrance brings light and by being constructed as abstract as possible it’s not a real façade squeezed between two old buildings but just a plane that connects precisely to the existing buildings.

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Why such a lobby in an old building?

The Parish House dates from 1904 and it was converted severall times. In fact, there did not exist any original traces to reconstruct. This absence of historical substance (concerning the shape and the surfaces of the lobby) gave the freedom to invent something new. Main idea is to make the new lobby as generous as possible. One intervention is a new faceted continuous ceiling that connects the two lobby-levels (the two levels always existed but the stair is new).

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Why this kind of treatment of the surfaces in the lobby?

The wooden cladding and the details make the “shapy” lobby less trendy and generate a homelike atmosphere. The clash of traditional material and contemporary form is quite special. The stripy surfaces make the walls more precious and lead to a “serious” apperance of the space. We think a Perish House should not be too funky but serious.

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Image Courtesy Hannes Henz

Image Courtesy Hannes Henz

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Image Courtesy Nicolaj Bechtel & Stefan Wülser

Image Courtesy Hannes Henz

Image Courtesy Hannes Henz

Image Courtesy Hannes Henz

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

Image Courtesy Frei + Saarinen Architekten

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Categories: Building, Lobby

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