Investment competion 2011
1. PriZe


Client/Investor: Allreal Generalunternehmung AG, Zürich
Building start: planned 2013/2014
Construction volumen: 85'535 m3
Floor area: 25'785 m2

Competition : July 2011
Selection process: Investment competition with 25 teams
Ranking: 1. Prize


Project team for selection 2011:
Justin Rüssli
Ruedi Vollenweider
Carol Egger
Andrea Schranz
Andreas Hamerich

The lot belonging to the city of Lucerne is at the same level as the centre of Lucerne at the edge of the train station complex. This section of the city is characterised by buildings forming the perimeter of a block. This construction pattern predominates in the Hirschmatt section of the city. Individual buildings are grouped around a courtyard, where industrial enterprises were once located. Today people clear out these inner courtyards and put green plants in them.

The urban development concept in this project is “LIVE, WORK, CREATE”. It assumes that the centre of the city of Lucerne will become much denser over the next 50 years. Mixed uses of the kind found in Hirschmatt and other central sections of the city will shape the area over the Langensand bridge and the Tribschen section of the city. The management of the competition commented as follows: “The three L-shaped buildings are compelling and mark the transition to more finely grained settlement patterns beneath the Bireggwald. The design vividly demonstrates a relic from the industrial past whilst superbly supporting the basic idea formulated in the concept.”

The intended use is a mix of office, commercial and residential and can be changed based on economic development and market needs. The buildings are flexibly designed to anticipate the change in this area of town over the next 50 years.

A solid urban planning concept is sustainable if the structure is adaptable, the buildings compact and the property well-developed in terms of public utilities and services. The flats and offices should be able to achieve a positive energy balance in the medium term. Along with maximum efforts to save energy, the Swiss Minergie standard is also applied to produce energy. The roof surfaces serve as a solar farm to produce electricity and hot water and geothermal probes utilise heat taken from the earth.
There is a minimum of car parking available in accordance with regulations, which is supplemented by mobile parking spots at a prime location. Provisions are also made for 240V/370V connections for electrical mobility for cars and scooters.


The edge of the courtyard is planned for mixed use and features well-proportioned flats ideal for this section of the city. The market analysis of the location identifies three typical kinds of users: The improvisational alternative types (young singles, shared flats), open middle types (younger singles and couples, families) and the urban avant-garde (younger singles and couples). The Competition Commission issued a communique with the following explanation: “The handsome zigzag roofs over the studios are not only a spatial enhancement. They also terminate the entire complex in an upward direction with an elegant industrial allusion and thus visually shape the idea of mixed use under a single roof in a visual way.”

Orientation and life style in this project oscillate between northern and southern Europe. The tendency is to wed southern European elegance to northern European precision.
The architecture is modelled on industrial architecture with brick façades and the typical zigzag roofs. This picture is overlaid with a contemporary use of the roofs for photovoltaic and green plantings in an urban context.


The residential buildings have six full storeys and the office buildings have five full storeys. If the Lucerne building and zoning code (BZO) is revised, the office building might be able to be erected as a six-storey structure. The builders dispensed with an additional attic so as not to dominate the usual building heights in the area.

Once the new BZO is passed, a building permit could of course be issued for this proposal. The relative weight of residential and work is flexible. Mixed uses are conceivable and implementable on the ground floor and in the attic floor and must be adapted as needed.