Ludwigstrasse, 9010 St.Gallen
AXA Leben AG
The building site is located in the Rotmonten quarter on a hill northeast of the centre of the city of St. Gallen. The area is characterised by individual buildings whose density gives the quarter an urban character. The plots to be developed along Ludwigstrasse have a structure with linear buildings that is unusual for the area. As the buildings are kept low and extend deep into the plots, they nevertheless integrate well into the surroundings. The fronts facing the street pick up on the scale of the neighbourhood. The two buildings to the southwest have two storeys, the two buildings to the northeast along Seeblickstrasse three storeys. The interplay with the topography, which rises slightly towards the southeast, creates a subtle staggering of heights within the scheme as well as references to the neighbourhood. Open spaces extend between the narrow structures, perpetuating the urban and landscape qualities of Rotmonten. The outdoor spaces combine the advantages of private gardens with those of communal settlement spaces. The shared areas have a gravel surface and offer space for meeting and spending time. An asphalt forecourt extends along Ludwigstrasse. This is where the bus stop and the flat entrances arranged on the front facades are located. The forecourt forms the address of the new development and separates the public street space from the semi-private space. More
The four buildings are organised as terraced buildings with a continuous balcony layer in the south and a pergola layer in the north. While the two layers are very similar in appearance, they have very different functions. The arcades in the north are used for access. This typology allows for a high quality of all apartments, especially the many small apartments. There is a layer of balconies and recessed loggias in the south. Both have in common their function as a filter between the interior and exterior spaces. All the apartments are built according to the same principles. The static system is based on a bulkhead structure and allows each flat to be oriented on two sides, regardless of its size. A narrow layer of space consisting of an entrance, kitchen and loggia stretches across the building and defines areas in the apartment. On one side is the living and dining room. On the other side is the private bedroom with its bathroom. Larger apartments have an additional layer of rooms. The various possibilities of passing through, separating or opening up the rooms give the small apartments an unexpected spaciousness and complexity. Thanks to the shallow depth of the building and the generous room heights, the rather small dwellings are bright and spacious.
In their choice of materials, the buildings strive for a balance between cost-effectiveness, durability and a certain nobility. The outer envelope is made of in-situ concrete. The atmosphere of the interiors is strongly influenced by the directness of the materials used. These include walls and ceilings of exposed concrete, cement screed floors in the living areas and terracotta tiles of varying tonality in the other rooms. The south facades are fully glazed and provide the interiors with plenty of light and views. On the north side, the facades appear more closed. There, the exterior walls consist of simple, rear-ventilated wooden post-and-beam structures and are clad with fibre-cement panels. Balconies and arcades are made of prefabricated concrete elements. A filigree frame made of powder-coated round steel tubes runs around the house. It forms the guardrail as well as the framework for the planting of the facades.