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Apartment Block in Jona-Kempraten

Situated at the foot of a hillside vineyard in Switzerland, this small development consists of two identical cubic structures each containing two ground-floor garden flats and three maisonettes at the top with large north- and south-facing roof terraces. All ten dwellings have a 180 m2 floor area and provide scope for a flexible layout, which the residents can determine for themselves. Each of the ground floor dwellings possesses a garden with a pergola and a covered sitting area. Parking and storage facilities are in the basement.

The heterogeneous internal structure remains concealed behind a facade with clear, simple lines. Drawn over the entire face of the building is a layer of horizontal red-cedar strips that are also used to form ancillary elements like balustrades and dividing screens. The large, clear-cut window openings are set out in accordance with the overall grid; but in view of the different layout of the dwellings, a varying rhythm is established that avoids monotony. The outer skin of the building behind the strip facade consists of insulated timber elements. For structural and sound-insulating reasons, the basement, floors slabs and party walls are in a solid form of construction. Vertical access routes are located outside the building skin in a thermally discrete form of construction. They are also differentiated from the rest of the structure through the choice of materials. The flat roofs are extensively planted. The development has been awarded a Swiss “mineral-P” certificate (equivalent to the German passive-energy house standard). To minimize thermal losses, the outer skin is highly insulated and incorporates a ventilation system with heat recovery to ensure a greater degree of comfort. This allows the air intake to be prewarmed via a pipe grid in the earth. The high level of insulation means that the internal surface temperatures of the outer walls remain in the range of the indoor room temperatures. The energy supply is decentralized: every dwelling has its own energy unit with an integral heat pump. This installation provides heating, fresh air and hot water. Further heating facilities are not necessary.

 

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 6/2005

Solar Architecture

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