Lilly Irmer
Sophie Kalwa

triemli+128 examines the existing building, proves through reduced interventions in the structure that what is worth preserving can be protected and shows that 128 percent of the existing space can be converted into living space.our work with the existing building is divided into five steps - discussion, investigation, concept, design and cataloguing.

the first step - the discussion - takes up the current debate about demolition and replacement building in zurich. with the announced competition stadthotel triemli, the zas* (zürich working group for urban development) tries to bring the discussion of the demolition madness to the city and to find arguments for the preservation of the existing building.
a section of the demolition mapping in circle III around the three staff houses of the city hospital shows the current urgency and relevance of the discussion. in order to be able to categorise buildings according to their reusability and repurposability, an investigation and evaluation of the existing structures must take place in the second step.the three staff houses in circle 3 served in the past not only as living space for the hospital staff, but also as practice rooms, temporary old people's home, accommodation for refugees, as well as a dormitory for students. the various interim uses over the last two decades show the diversity of possible uses for the site. the aim of the transformation is to create a new housing typology between hotel and residential structures, in which living space is created for everyone.
step two - investigation - if all previous and existing uses are detached from the houses, what remains is a structure that shows parallels to a classic hotel of the belle epoque. this similarity is exploited and the staff houses are converted into a city hotel. creating living space for everyone means using the potential of the existing structure. the room wing with its long corridors will be turned inside out to create flats from east to west, consisting of at least two former rooms. this turns the problem of the 3-hour shadow into a potential that turns the shady side into the sunny side. the middle zone becomes more porous, so that old and new fragments overlap. here, while opening up the existing building, as much as possible is done with the dna of the house.
third step - concept - different housing configurations are possible: family living, living for students or refugees, flat-sharing communities, singles or couples. the development of the residential units follows the logic of the hotel typology: only the smallest possible sanitary cores are available and the kitchens of the individual flats are combined into a communal kitchen on the ground floor. a large part of the social reproduction is outsourced and handled collectively. in order to detach the housework from the individual rented apartments, these are replaced by workplaces.
the dining room offers space for the shared kitchen, which is served by external cooks; the salon and the salle de conversation provide space for exchange and a concierge service. the final element is a shared roof terrace with a roof garden. this new social structure of this form of living not only shows new spatial constellations, but also questions the current self-evident nature of unpaid housework.
a narrow path that previously connected the three staff houses is redesigned into a parkour that runs along the staff houses and is spatially bordered by squares. the parkour marks the threshold between the three staff houses and the new social structure of this form of housing. the parkour marks the threshold between the urban base of the three buildings and the adjoining green space. in doing so, the formal path curates the foundlings and breaks up the austerity of the site. the elements that seem to grow out of the ground (erratic blocks) are taken up in their formal language and translated into new street furniture. these play on the new squares: town square, playground and neighbourhood square. the approach to the outdoor space is derived from the approach to the existing space. existing potential - the path - is strengthened and the problem of belonging to the surrounding neighbourhood is solved.
step four - design - the façade characterises the site and is only changed if there is a need. where openings are needed, doors replace existing windows. a scaffolding takes over the function of the corridor for the access to the residential units. it serves as a symbol of preservation, repair and further thinking of the existing building. it imitates the structure of the scaffolding that was needed for the construction of the three staff houses. the manual scaffolding allows the second new façade to remain transfomable, so that it can be continuously adapted and ensures the maintenance of the existing towers. the interventions inside the towers are also minimally invasive and do little to change the appearance of the rooms.