Ten contemporary houses with 34 freehold flats and up to eight commercial units were built near the Lake Zurich

Ten contemporary houses with 34 freehold flats and up to eight commercial units were built near the Lake Zurich

Architects: Max Dudler
Location: Bergstrasse, Meilen, Switzerland
Year: 2014
Area: 162.000 ft²/ 15.050 m²
Photo courtesy: Stefan Müller, Max Dudler

“Just like the Siedlung Halen did back then, the “urban island” on the Areal Giessen site on Lake Zurich translates the village motif into a contemporary form. Ten houses with 34 freehold flats and up to eight commercial units were built in Meilen in total. Even though the design is clearly based on the countryside character of the place, its abstract, geometrical shape creates a dialectic tension with the surrounding landscape.


The residential units have been arranged densely on a narrow rectangular plot, forming an island in the landscape of Lake Zurich. The residential buildings have been arranged on the plot like on a chessboard and in a staggered order, so that all flats have a view of the lake. The terraces and staircases provide a range of different vistas on the lake.


The new residential site is characterised by its compact urban design and the interaction between narrow alleys and broad, semi-private open spaces. A network of paths and streets as well as a small public square with sycamore trees at the centre of the estate give the Areal Giessen site an urban feel.


Above this square are the “pocket park” and a playground, which are accessible to all property owners.


This deliberate arrangement of public and private spaces also extends into the buildings. Different spatial layers within the flats, ranging from the private area of the bedrooms to the living and dining areas facing towards the south, provide a 180 degree view of the surroundings. The flats on the Areal Giessen site have sizes of up to 257 sqm and contain 2.5 to 7.5 rooms each.


Every at has its own individual, generously sized outdoor area facing to the south – either a roof-deck, a loggia or a private garden. Beneath the buildings, hidden under the slope, there is a basement garage from which all flats can be accessed. Every building also has a separate entrance. Sustainability, good noise insulation, and accessibility as well as spacious elevators were important factors in the design process.”

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