Renovation Gartenstrasse housing and commerce
Gartenstrasse 8, 9000 St.Gallen
Direct commission, 2014
The house at Gartenstrasse 8 dates from the late 1970s. A five-storey part of the building accompanies the street, a three-storey annex – which will be extended by one storey in the course of the transformation and extension – occupies the inner courtyard. The sculptural washed concrete facade is typical of its time. The renovation of the building envelope was also carried out in this spirit. The high-contrast colour scheme and the details typical of the period, such as the round corners of the window frames, were retained, upgraded and supplemented with new interpretations. The ground floor facade was adapted to contemporary requirements for commercial and office use and provided with new entrances. Overall, the ground floor is now more open and inviting. In addition to the previous office space, it now also offers space for commercial use. More
While the first floor also serves as office space as before, the most significant intervention in the structure and function of the building took place on the second to the fourth floor. 31 small apartments were created on the three generous upper floors, which are only divided by columns and an access core. In addition to the newly designed access areas, the depth of the house also provides space for washrooms and various ancillary rooms. Above the extension in the courtyard, which houses the four most spacious apartments, there is a roof terrace accessible to all residents.
The apartments are entered via a layer of rooms consisting of an entrance hall, a bathroom and a kitchenette. Similar to a hotel typology, these rooms without daylight requirements cleverly exploit the depth of the building. The living rooms and bedrooms benefit from the generous room height and the fully glazed facade. A simple kitchenette adjoins the living and dining space. The bedroom of the small apartments is usually only separated by a niche-forming part of a wall. In this way, the facade can be experienced throughout and makes the compact apartments appear airy, bright and spacious.
The choice of materials supports this feeling of lightness. Individual elements are emphasised or subtly exaggerated, others remain discreetly in the background. Simplicity and complexity, as well as modesty and luxury, balance each other out.