Reception center for asylum seekers Churwalden, CH

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

Local Integration

The site Meiersboden seems to be isolated by the narrowing of the topography, but is not far from the city Chur. Buildings for road maintenance, small industries, characterize the locus. Some individual residential buildings can stand up to these industrial buildings. These are buildings that are influenced by the people of the Vals area. These buildings stand independently forming small ensembles and courtyards. The new asylum home shall become one of these Valser buildings in the Plessur valley. The architectural idea and attitude for the asylum home aims to provide shelter to pursued and tortured people, not a machine for living.

Thus, the new asylum home consists of a simple group of houses: a main building and a small cottage. With its setting, the main building approaches as close as possible to the forest releasing the largest possible green area to the southwest and west. The small cottage, a building with uses that to promote exchanges in daily life, forms a courtyard together with the main building.

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 Material

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.