The winning project

Architect: Duplex Architekten, Switzerland
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Construction period: 04.2013 – 02.2015
Purpose: Cluster-apartments, shared living space
Usable floor area: 6,890 m²
Brick type: Perlite-filled clay blocks
The Cluster House is part of the newly built Hunziker Areal in the north of Zurich, which features 450 flats, spread out over 13 buildings with varying designs, united under the promising title “more than living”. As part of this new concept, the residents forgo having their own garage space, but in return are rewarded with various services such as car sharing and electromobility, communal kitchens, greenhouses and even hotel rooms.
The house by Duplex Architekten with its innovative floor plan stands for a new type of living, offering so-called cluster apartments. Each of them provides a large shared kitchen and living room, while comprising five to seven mini-flats with one to two rooms, a tea kitchen and a bathroom.
“Our society consists of more than just the traditional family, so we need to develop apartment buildings that correspond to that,” the architects emphasize. “The surface of the material and the material itself were really important for the whole low-tech system. The brick we chose does without artificial insulation.”
The entire exterior wall of the Cluster House was executed as a monolithic masonry with integrated perlite insulation. All geometric dimensions of the building are based on a multiple of the dimensions of the bricks in order to keep waste to a minimum and not to reduce their insulating properties. The result is an outstanding example of affordable quality housing.


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