Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin
Baumberger & Stegmeier
Apartment Buildings am Katzenbach III
Kirchenfeld, Katzenbachstrasse, Zürich
2010 - 2013

The housing complex "am Katzenbach III" dates back to an architectural competition which was won in 2010 by Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin in cooperation with Baumberger & Stegmeier. The housing complex is located in the Zürich city district Seebach, which was designed according to the ideas of the garden city. During the postwar period, there shoud be developed settlements surrounded by green spaces in this area of Zürich. This idea was strongly supported by the then city architect A. H. Steiner, and is still evident today. A significant contribution to this condition is to be found in the generally permeable and highly greened outside spaces with beautiful view references and partial private gardens. This constellation contributes decisively to the fact that the district was able to preserve much of its original character. Although in some places the postwar constructions have been replaced by new buildings of larger dimensions, the nature of the urban structure will continue to be shaped by the typical narrow two and three-storey row houses of the postwar period. Despite higher utilization, the project am Katzenbach III successfully establishes itself according to the original plan of the garden city. The direct environment of the new buildings is characterized by detached houses and two-storey row-houses with private outdoor spaces. The housing complex am Katzenbach III consists of compact building volumes with three storeys, which seek to integrate themself into the existing neighborhood. The slightly bent facades visually impar the dimension of the building, and achieves a rapprochement with the neighbouring buildings. The arrangement of the volumes does not follow strictly the road cours, but allows views deep into the parcel. Access to the buildings is made directly from the Kirchfeldstrasse by short stairs. The main entrance leads directly to the staircases, which give acces to three apartments on each floor. The flats at the building ends are each slightly larger and are oriented to three directions. All apartments are equipped with a large eat-in kitchen and get along with small corridor surfaces. The geometry of the plan, which deviates from the orthogonal order, creates flowing spaces. Related to the idea of the garden city, the outdoor space of each apartment is conceived as a three-sided open balcony. The exterior of the buildings is made of a ventilated fiber cement facade. Balustrade strips integrate the flung balconies into the building volume. The windows are painted shiny green. The top of the building is made by a section clad with sheet copper. The supporting structure is made of a conventional solid construction, consinsting of brick masonry in situ concrete. The materials of the interiors are practical and durable.