Residential building in a tree grove

LocationBächtelenweg, Köniz BE
ClientHans Widmer
CommissionCompetition on invitation 2007
Planning2010–2012
Construction2014–2015
ArchitectsGraber & Steiger Architekten, Project Architect: Roland Stutz, Urs Schmid
ConsultantsStructural engineer: ZPF Ingenieure, Total Contracter: Priora AG, Building physicist: RSP AG
PhotographerD.M. Wehrli

The theme of living in a tree grove was defined by the client and aimed at achieving innovative residential forms that lead to an exemplary building typology. For that purpose, a strategy is used that is determined in a conceptual, typological and atmospheric way by the presence of the trees. A narrow, elongated building with several folds nestles into the protective vegetation. That creates an exciting sequence of exterior spaces in which the mantle of vegetation unfolds downwards and is orientated towards the apartments. The maisonette typology guides the resident’s view towards roots, trunks and the treetops, while also providing a diverse range of uses. The band of vegetation is combined with various aspects of the building envelope: It not only regulates the sunlight and daylight according to the seasons, but also acts as a filtering visual blind and ensures a balanced microclimate. The building envelope can thereby be reduced to a fine, transparent membrane that only partially needs to assume the usual façade functions. An exterior curtain made of wooden pilaster strips creates privacy for facing apartment units and defines the finely structured expression of the building.

Residential building in a tree grove

Graber & Steiger

Architekten ETH BSA SIA
Alpenstrasse 1
CH-6004 Luzern
mail@grabersteiger.ch
+41 41 248 50 10

Graber & Steiger is an architectural practice based in Lucerne, Switzerland and was founded 1995 by Niklaus Graber and Christoph Steiger. Their work to date includes public and institutional buildings as well as private houses. Graber & Steiger are interested in an architecture that gives a specific and individual response to each task assigned and that at the same time regards personal and subjectiv statements. One of the goals of the team is focus to establish powerful architectonical structures which approach the task in a targeted way and encourage an autonomous spatial expression. By winning various competitions, Graber & Steiger could accomplish among others the School Complex in Buttikon, the Window Factory in Hagendorn, the Panorama Gallery Pilatus and the extension to the Thun Panorama for which they received several national and international awards.

Niklaus Graber

Architekt ETH SIA BSA

*1968. Certified Architect ETH BSA SIA. 1988–95 Studies in Architecture at the ETH Zurich and at the GSAPP Columbia University New York. 1990/91/93 internships at office Herzog & de Meuron, Basel and office Hans Kollhoff, Berlin. 1995 architect at office Herzog & de Meuron. 1995 founding of Graber & Steiger Architekten in Lucerne. 2008–2011 teaching assignment at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2013–2015 lecturer in the Master of Arts in Architecture course at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2016 visting faculty at Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlement in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Christoph Steiger

Architekt ETH SIA BSA

*1968. Certified Architect ETH BSA SIA. 1988–95 Studies in Architecture at the ETH Zurich. 1990/91 internships at office Hans Kollhoff, Berlin and office Herzog & de Meuron, Basel. 1995 architect at office Herzog & de Meuron. 1995 founding of Graber & Steiger Architekten in Lucerne. 2008–2011 teaching assignment at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2013–2015 lecturer in the Master of Arts in Architecture course at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. 2016 visting faculty at Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlement in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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Team

Architects:
Rebekka Baumann
Leonie Burch
Enric Carol
Anthony Frank
Niklaus Graber
Daniel Hauri
Fabienne Hug
Philip Käslin
Sascha Matt
Urs Schmid
Claudia Spörri
Christoph Steiger
Roland Stutz
Kim Templin

Interns:
Greta Andreoli
Pero Georgiev
Fabian Huber
Sophie Schindler
David Zorenč

Former Employees:
Lars Aebersold
Fulvio de Bastian
Sophie Bertin
Philipp Betschart
Jaroslava Brhelova
Beatrix Diem
Rebekka Eiholzer
Pascal Galler
Pero Georgiev
Ana Gonçalves
Moritz Grimmer
Annette Hammer
Monika Hausammann
Yvonne Hoffmann
Patric Huber
Jovan Ivanovski
Catharina Kiesel
Patrizia Kulmitzer
Ivo Läuppi
Vinh Ly
James Mac Aree
Ursula Mehr
Patrick Mürner
Eliza Novak
Alicja Nowicz
Karin Ohashi
René Pahl
Lucia Pennati
Reto Robbi
Stefan Roos
Lucas Sager
Susana Santos
Astrid Sauerteig
Daniel Scheuner
Maria Schmid
André Signer
Andrea Späti
Katrin Stadelmann
Christian Suter
Mathias Thaler
Bastien Turpin
Michael Ursprung
Lukas Vogel
Barbara Vogt
Hanspeter Vogt
Martin Waldis
Karin von Wil
Susanne Wolf
Julia Wollscheid
Doris Wyss
David Zimmermann
Alex Zollinger

Awards & Grands

Selection

Award «Best architects» 16

Extension for the Thun Panorama

Award «Auszeichnung guter Bauten im Kanton Zug 2006–2015» 2015

AWZ housing

ISR Award for Architecture 2013
Special price of the jury

Pilatus Kulm panorama gallery

Award for Marketing and Architecture 2012
Overall winner

Pilatus Kulm panorama gallery

Award «Best architects» 12

Uri educative centre
Villa by Lake Zug

Ernst A. Plischke Preis, Vienna, Austria 2011
Nomination

Window factory extension

Award «Best architects» 10

Villa by Lake Lucerne

Velux Daylight Award 2010
Nomination

Window factory extension

Rosa Barba Award, Barcelona C, 2008
Nomination

Window factory extension

Award «Best architects» 08

Window factory extension

German Landscape Architecture Award 2007
First Price

Window factory extension

Award «Die Besten», Silver trophy, 2006

Window factory extension

Award «SIA Umsicht | Regards | Sguardi» 2006

Window factory extension

Award «Auszeichnung guter Bauten 1994–1999 im Kanton Luzern» 2000

Stucki single-family home

Exhibitions

Selection

«Schweizweit. Recent Swiss Architecture»
Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2016/17

«Spacial Positions 10: The Sound of Architecture»
Festival Zeiträume Basel, Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2015

«Panoramen – Bauten und Projekte von Graber & Steiger Architekten»
Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun Panorama, 2014

«Senza pericolo!»
Triennale di Milano, Mailand 2013

«Marketing + Architektur»
ETH Zurich, Institut GTA, Zurich 2013

«Bildbau»
Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2013

«Pläne und Modelle von Graber & Steiger»
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts 2010

«ARCH/SCAPES»
Schweizer Beitrag zur 7. Bienal International de Arquitetura de Sao Paulo
Pavilhao Ciccillo Matarazzo Parque Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo 2007,
Swiss Architecture Museum S AM, Basel 2008,
Today Art Museum, Bejing 2009,
Shenzhen + Hong Kong Architecture Biennale, Hongkong 2010

«Spezifisch | specifique | specivico»,
Architekturforum Zürich 2007

«Umsicht SIA»
Swissbau Basel, ETH Zurich, FH Burgdorf, Architekturforum FAR Lausanne, HSR Rapperswil, SUPSI Lugano, CAUE Angers F, DAZ Berlin, 2006–2008

«Die Besten 06»
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, 2006

«Gutachter-verfahren Kunsthaus Graz»
Architekturforum Zürich 1998

Lectures

3rd International Conference on Structures and Architecture, Guimaraes, Portugal 2016
«On the authority of the load-bearing structure»

International Symposium Architecture now/next, Dhaka 2016
Panel discussion «Education now/next»

Bengal Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesch, 2016
«Reflections on Structure»

Technische Hochschule Köln
«Postitionen Schweizer Architektur» 2015

BRAC University Dhaka, Bangladesch, 2014
«Trended Structures»

KIT Karlsruhe, 2014
«Swiss Architects»

Architektur Forum Thun, 2013
«Panoramen – eine Rundschau»

ETH Zurich, Institut GTA, 2013
«Panoramagalerie Pilatus Kulm»

Mongolbarer Shobha, Dhaka, 2012
«Structures»

ETH Zurich, 2009
«Denkmodell Struktur»

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 2009
«Tektonik und Struktur»

Rosa Barba Award, Barcelona, 2008
«Window factory Hagendorn»

Istituto la città complessa, Pordenone, Italy, «Recent Works», 2008
«Recent Works»

Deutsches Architektur-zentrum Berlin, 2008
«Fensterfabrik Hagendorn»

FHNW Basel, 2006
«Ein Haus von...»

Architekturforum Zurich, 2003
«Junge Schweizer Architekten»

ETH Zurich, 1997
«Haus Stucki»

2017
2016
2015
17.01.17
Wakker Prize awarded
19.11.16
Exhibition at the S AM Basel
27.10.16
Award canton of Zug
10.09.16
«Atuprix 2015» Award
27.07.16
ICSA 2016
22.06.16
Start of construction
11.06.16
Architectural visit: Koeniz
06.06.16
Start of construction
01.03.16
Graber & Steiger in Bangladesh
04.09.15
«Spatial Positions 10»
01.08.15
School building in Nottwil
28.05.15
Graber & Steiger monograph

27.07.16

International Conference on Structure and Architecture ICSA 2016

The International Conference for Structure and Architecture ICSA will takes place from 27.07–29.07.16. Graber & Steiger are presenting their lecture «On the authority of the structure» in special session devised by the Chair for Structural Design of ETH Zürich.

Graber & Steiger

17.01.17 Wakker Prize awarded 19.11.16 Exhibition at the S AM Basel 27.10.16 Award canton of Zug 10.09.16 «Atuprix 2015» Award 27.07.16 ICSA 2016 22.06.16 Start of construction 11.06.16 Architectural visit: Koeniz                      Design: C2F.CH