Competition Luxburgerfeld, Egnach on Lake Constance

Competition for residential development 2019, 1st. Prize

Energy standard

Minergie – P

Contract type / Realisation

Competition /

Building typology

Apartment building

Contractor

Steiner AG, Benz Immobilien Treuhand GmbH

Just beautiful

Lake Constance with its extensive water surface and expansive views in general, the Luxburger Bay as a marshland in particular, are positively dominant landscape elements in the Luxburgerfeld area. The solid ground of the “pier” provides feeling of safety in the sensual beauty of the reed belts on the marshland.

The contrasts of solid and soft, safe and insecure gives the contemplative charm to the place. This emotional quality is taken up as a leitmotif in the urban design.

Urban planning – qualities of ground

In the soft ground of the lake sediments, fixed “piers” in the form of a basement are set orthogonally to the shore. On this solid base, the residential buildings are protected from subsidence and flooding. By contrast, spacious outdoor spaces are created in between. Therefore, the atmosphere of the Lake Constance extends deeply into the new settlement and thus characterizes the residential area of Luxburgerfeld.

In respect to the scale, the largest dimension of the existing residential zone-2 preferably should not be exceeded. This two-storey standard construction principle, with an attic floor in addition, creates a very strong link to the landscape, and of course to the land. In a privileged lakeside location at the end of the “pier”, low-rise private townhouses complete the landscape, and thus form a mediating border to the neighbourhood, consisting of single-family houses. This boosts acceptance by the neighbours and, as the result, to get an approval.

The rental townhouses will be placed along the newly designed Luxburgerweg, in the east-western direction, parallel to the Seeweg-Rudwies. These houses benefit from the spacious open spaces between the piers and the public street.

Open spaces – bay in the reed and garden islands

The open spaces in the middle of the individual building sites are enclosed by equal structures, and designed “individually” – according to their slightly different, first hand surroundings. Each part is different and has its own identity.

The western building site, with its existing neighbourhood, forms an enclosed center, in which garden islands are situated. This casual arrangement creates playgrounds and meeting points in between the building structures. The garden courtyards entirely serve the communal and social purpose, on behalf of the idea of togetherness.

The eastern building site with its open northern edge is designed to complete the living quarter by the lake. Bay-like in character, the reed belt defines the shore. As a local-type field, it extends between the “piers”, and down to the southern border steers to the townhouses. Reed areas spread throughout the extensive, naturalistic bay. They are finely structured by the gravel paths, not affecting the lake view from the ground level apartments on the elevated site. Only the place-constituting willow, in combination with a large wooden deck, of course, defines an area that serves sufficient, communal purpose.

Architecture – contemplativeness and domestic tranquility

First and foremost, it raises the question: who do we build for? Contemplativeness and tranquility do not have a political connotation here, but are understood socially in a community-oriented sense.

As an architectural expression is a search for an aura of a rural environment, it is achieved by means of rather low building structures and its tranquil expression. This is intensified by the distinctive pitched roofs, in the form of mansard roofs of the apartment buildings and pitched gable roofs of the single-family townhouses. Based on experience, we propose wooden shutters which give the sparingly proportioned window shapes a generous dimensions, and at the same time, together with the roof shape, refer to the traditional building forms. It is the clear goal that through the identity-forming architecture, the resident feels home in Luxburgerfeld.

In the light of the above, together with the landscape architecture as meeting points and the garden plots, it enable a sense of neighbourhood between the residents. This is another cornerstone of a local resident community.