Senior Citizens Residence BELLERIVE
Kreuzbuchstrasse, LucernE
2008 - 2010

Client: Tertianum AG, Zürich
Status: 2008 - 2010
Construction volumen: New 41'500 m3
Total floor area: 8’100 m2
Building costs: CHF 39 Mio

Project team:
Walter Rüssli
Justin Rüssli
Ruedi Vollenweider
Remo Niess
Patrick Hiltmann
Regula Kammermann

The property is in the middle of a select residential area in Lucerne. Right nearby are the wharves, the Swiss Museum of Transport and a ship and train stop.
The existing villa with its baroque staircase forms the main part of the building project. The structures erected in 1995 by the public employees’ retirement fund LUPK (a project of Walter Rüssli) signalize the axial layout of the villa.

The new buildings are arranged on the slope in a line that follows the topography. Delicate garden arbours stand in front of the buildings as terraces on the panorama and south side. The villa was converted for use as a reception area and restaurant and is now the central element of the building project along with the outdoor space.
The underground parking garage is connected to all buildings. An attractive system of covered hallways takes facility users to the villa.


The complex is used as a senior residence with flats for the elderly consisting primarily of 2.5 rooms and 3.5 rooms.  One of the floors in Building C is a nursing care ward.

The park has lovely trees and is a wonderful place to relax. The exterior also features seating areas around the villa with a water basin and an observation terrace. The terrace next to the restaurant in the villa is an inviting place to spend time in the summer.

The building concept is based on Design Plan G253 Hochhüsli Luzern, which stipulates an urban style of living for pensioners in the city. An additional wing was added to the existing villa, which serves as the central element of the building project. The buildings of the public employees’ retirement fund LUPK mark the axis of the villa with the staircase and glass lift. Three new buildings embedded in the landscape complete the building project. The existing teahouse was integrated in the area surrounding the project and is a welcoming place for people to meet.


The development design is based on the fundamental idea that all buildings be wheelchair accessible and connected above and below ground level. A subterranean parking garage can be accessed from all buildings. It provides space for deliveries, public utilities and waste disposal for the building project. An access road for emergencies and taxi services leads directly to the villa. To connect to public transport, facility users proceed from the glass lift over a system of ramps in front of LUPK down to Kreuzbuchstrasse and then directly to the bus station of the Lucerne transit authority VBL or the train station for commuter service (S-Bahn) or the Pre-Alpine Express (VAE) in the direction of Lucerne or Lake Constance.

The floor plans for the flats are divided into 48 flats with 2.5 rooms and 20 with 3.5 rooms as well as 16 rooms for nursing care and four flats with 3.5 rooms in the converted villa.
The new buildings have verandas throughout, creating a large exterior area and extending the depth of the flat. All flats are ramp-free and connected to the lifts.


The facades appear to be solid structures on the north, east and west sides. On the south side with the panorama view, a delicate curtain wall clad with aluminium latticework marks the limits of the garden arbour forming the outer perimeter. A transparent surface opens up from the inside to afford a view of the mountains and the lake.

The entry pavilion was built on the north side of the villa. It is modelled on the garden arbour in terms of materials and colour scheme and serves as the link connecting new and old.

The exterior insulation has a colour scheme derived from the villa (tuff). The basic colour of tuff and green is underscored by the different colours selected for the textile awnings.