“URBAN ISLAND” / Max Dudler

“urban island” / max dudler
© Stefan Müller

With a new residential structure on the eastern shore of Lake Zurich, architect Max Dudler sets out to prove that exclusive privacy and density don’t have to form a contradiction in housing development. 50 years after architects atelier 5 built the famous siedlung halen near bern, dudler presents a new architectural model to help counter urban sprawl in the countryside.

“urban island” / max dudler
© Stefan Müller

Just like the Siedlung Halen did back then, the “urban island” on the Areal Giessen site on Lake Zurich translates the village motif into a contemporary form. Ten houses with 34 freehold flats and up to eight commercial units were built in Meilen in total. Even though the design is clearly based on the countryside character of the place, its abstract, geometrical shape creates a dialectic tension with the surrounding landscape.

“urban island” / max dudler
© Stefan Müller

The residential units have been arranged densely on a narrow rectangular plot, forming an island in the landscape of Lake Zurich. The residential buildings have been arranged on the plot like on a chessboard and in a staggered order, so that all flats have a view of the lake. The terraces and staircases provide a range of different vistas on the lake.

“urban island” / max dudler
© Stefan Müller

The new residential site is characterized by its compact urban design and the interaction between narrow alleys and broad, semiprivate open spaces. A network of paths and streets as well as a small public square with sycamore trees at the center of the estate give the Areal Giessen site an urban feel. Above this square are the “pocket park” and a playground, which are accessible to all property owners.

“urban island” / max dudler
© Stefan Müller

This deliberate arrangement of public and private spaces also extends into the buildings. Different spatial layers within the flats, ranging from the private area of the bedrooms to the living and dining areas facing towards the south, provide a 180-degree view of the surroundings. The flats on the Areal Giessen site have sizes of up to 257 sqm and contain 2.5 to 7.5 rooms each. Every flat has its own individual, generously sized outdoor area facing to the south – either a roof-deck, a loggia or a private garden.

“urban island” / max dudler
© Stefan Müller

Beneath the buildings, hidden under the slope, there is a basement garage from which all flats can be accessed. Every building also has a separate entrance. Sustainability, good noise insulation, and accessibility as well as spacious elevators were important factors in the design process.

The facade design of the ten buildings takes up on the design concept of the “urban island”. A grid of large-size concrete stones forms a frame for broken natural stones and windows. This creates an exciting contrast between smooth and broken or between natural and artificial surfaces, which gives the residential development its typical character.

Project Details:
Location: Meilen, Zurich, Switzerland
Client: Baugesellschaft Giessen
Architects: Max Dudler – www.maxdudler.com
Project managers: Jörg Jakubczak, Henrik Mundorf (until 2011), Hans Kolbeck (until 2012)
Team: Florian Pischetsrieder, Lucyna Zawistowska, Maike Lausen, Markus Weissenmayer
Photographs: Stefan Müller

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

1 thought on ““URBAN ISLAND” / Max Dudler”

Leave a Comment