MEWA Areal

Urban Design and housing Wädenswil

New development MEWA-Areal

With a view over Lake Zurich and the wooded hills of Hirzel behind, the MEWA site is in an excellent location in the middle of a green district.
The existing building complex, in which Swiss design history was written,
stands in the interplay between the partially open stream of Gulmenbach and the industrial charm.
The growing juxtaposition of commercial and residential use seems to work and the commercial buildings shield the residential area from the traffic noise of the busy Zugerstrasse. However, the requested program prohibits the preservation of industrial halls

The project proposal therefore plans to include the existing urban quality and the robust and spatially generous structure in the commercial and residential buildings along the Zugerstrasse and to contrast this with a residential development on the back, in the scale of the adjacent buildings. The structural isolation from the noise pollution of the Zugerstrasse, the disclosure of the stream and the integration of the new ensemble into the existing district scale form the matrix from which the proposed project will be developed.

Architectural approach

Along the Zugerstrasse, the large scale form following the street is celebrated by the curved parapets of the upper storeys, but also broken by height differences and the rhythm of the staggered apartments. The ground floor cites the industrial façade of the former MEWA-Halle and allows a view through the commercial and cultural areas into the green space behind.

Just as the façade along the Zugerstrasse refers to the industrial scale of the previous buildings, the rear residential buildings with their simple grid and the rhythm of balconies and loggias and mobile facade elements are in the tradition of the factory halls. The staggering reacts to the scale of the buildings in the neighbor

Landscape concept

The Gulmenbach is dug out as a spatially and atmospherically formative element and brought to life. Reacting to the existing stringent water supply, an urban water body situation with the course of the stream parallel to the edge of the building arises along the commercial building. Along this edge, the public path is routed through the neighborhood, creating an urban situation with public uses and outside areas of rentable units. Accordingly, this area is designed differently with seat steps and bars.