Initial reception center for asylum seekers, Churwalden

New construction asylum home in solid timber construction, competition 2014, 4th prize. In cooperation with: Rhomberg Bau AG, St. Gallen and Sohm AG, Widnau

Energy standard


Contact type/ Realisation

Competition 2014 /


Asylum center



Project description

The Meiersboden building site may seem remote because of its narrow topography, however it is not far from Chur. Road maintenance constructions and small industrial enterprises characterise the area. Some residential buildings can stand up to the industrial buildings. These are buildings are influenced by the construction methods of Valsers people living in the area. Buildings which stand alone in terms of their granularity and positioning, and together form small ensembles and courtyards.
The new asylum center is designed to be one of “these” residential buildings in the Plessur valley. The architectural idea and attitude for the asylum center aims to offer a home to persecuted and tormented people and not to be a living space. Thus, the new asylum center consists of a basic group of houses: a main building divided into sections and a small addition – “Schopf”. With its setting, the main building snuggles to the forest edge in order to open up as much green spaces as possible to the southwest and west. The small „Schopf“, a building with uses that are intended to promote exchange and coexistence, and together with the main building forms a courtyard.

Space Dispositive

The spatial dispositive follows a horizontal development and contains all the ground floor needs, the administrative areas, all with wheelchair access, so that the building does not require a lift. The bed rooms, the living, the kitchen and the laundry areas are placed on the 1st and 2nd floor. On the upper floors the corridor is wide open, it is circulation and living area in front of the bed rooms at the same time. The future residents have a wide variety of ethnicities, religions and customs. The so-designed rooms for women, men, children, provide a home to these people, so they can live in mutual respect and in decent circumstances.

Construction and Materiality

The floor and wall structure are built with solid timber elements. The exterior walls are cladded with vertical paneling, which is painted with a glaze containing pigments, which protects the wood against fungal attack and gives the facade a patina look.