A Green High-Rise: Garden Tower near Bern
Architects: Buchner Bründler Architekten, Basel
Location: Bächtelenweg, Wabern near Bern (CH)
The building hails from a competition in 2007 stipulating that a multifaceted apartment house be erected on the Bächtelenacker, a field in Wabern by Bern. Based on the urban-planning design by AGPS Architekten, the area, which measures around 24,000 m², was divided into five building plots. Each of these was ascribed its own design theme: Living with a View, Living on the Courtyard, Living in the Grove, Living with a Patio and Living with a Balcony. Buchner Bründler Architekten developed an apartment tower with a polygonal floor plan; the area increases as the building rises. Over all 17 storeys, apartments of various sizes surround the core stairwell. While the side rooms face the core, the living areas and bedrooms are directed outwards. Ceiling-high glazing affords a view of the surrounding landscape.
The jutting storey ceilings are a striking design element that form a continuous balcony zone folded over at some of the edges in order to hold plant troughs. A metal mesh has been stretched across the outside; this acts as a climbing aid for the plants. The result is a vertical layer of vegetation that shades both exterior and interior space in the summertime. The plants have been placed according to the location’s orientation.
In some places, the metal mesh extends only as high as a balustrade; in others it covers the entire storey. This is made possible by a surrounding metal profile that holds the angled areas of the folding ceilings and then descends to balustrade height. This creates both a generous openings in the green layer and a vivid play of lines in the building’s appearance.