Picture © Leuppi Schafroth Architekten
Photo © Doris Fanconi
Photo © Stephanie Schafroth
© Markus Bertschi
Photo © Leuppi Schafroth Architekten
Photo © Stephanie Schafroth
Photo © Stephanie Schafroth
Photo © Stephanie Schafroth

Housing Complex Binzallee

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  • Residential
  • Collective Housing + Multiple Houses
  • Mixed Use
  • Urban Planning
  • Urban Developments
Binzallee 4-39, Bühlstrasse 43-47, 8055 Zurich
100M - 1Bn
5-20 Stories

Eingeladener Wettbewerb, 1. Rang

Etappe 1 Freienberg AG, ein Immobilienfond der UBS Fund Management AG
Etappe 2+3 Beamtenversicherungskasse des Kantons Zürich
Etappe 4 Lateltin AG, Berthold Pluznik

The building complex, Binzallee, is located at the foot of the Uetliberg mountain range in the up-and-coming, „south-end“ section of Zurich. The triangular site is on the urban periphery; bordered by industrial buildings and a local train line to the west, small multi-family houses to the east and a large apartment complex to the north.

Over 450 living units were developed on this 61-hectare site. Formerly a fenced-in depot with wooden barracks belonging to the Hatt-Haller construction company, this area is now a lively, open, semi-urban area populated with a mixture of singles, young families and active seniors.

The residential units are organized in four, long, east to west oriented building rows.

These linear elements serve as a footprint from which nine individual buildings meander - eight 4- to 6-story structures and one 4- to 14-story high-rise. The horizontal and vertical movement of the building volumes creates a balance between intimate and open spaces, between individual and collective areas and between a rural atmosphere and an urban setting.

In contrast to typical row housing where the living units stand facing front to back, the shifting volumes create building pairs. Each living unit has a relationship to a green or park side and an urban or street side. Large, glassed entry halls puncture through the depth of the building at ground level and allow entry from both sides as well as transparency through all four building-rows. Since every unit in Binzallee enjoys a living space that extends through the entire depth of the building, the front and back of the buildings are blurred.

The dual-orientated living units range in size from 1- to 7- rooms. 

Sliding walls create flexible spaces and allow various forms of living and furnishing options. Each apartment has one or two balconies or a garden-room. The upper units enjoy large roof terraces.

Residential spaces are augmented with various public services such as a double kindergarten and daycare, as well as retail shops and offices.

An underground network of streets allows the entire area to be free of vehicular traffic, while ample parking is provided at your door – accessible directly via stairs and/or elevator. These streets are built directly under the building footprint, allowing the ground level to become a pedestrian zone with parks and boulevards.

This project resulted from an architectural competition in 1999 and was realized in four phases. Construction began in 2002 and the final phase was completed in 2010.

Commission type

Invited Competiton,  1. Prize


Phase 1 Freienberg AG, ein Immobilienfond der UBS Fund Management AG

Phase 2+3 Beamtenversicherungskasse des Kantons Zürich

Phase 4 Lateltin AG, Berthold Pluznik

Other Projects by Leuppi & Schafroth Architekten

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Residential Development
Neubau Siedlung Erikastrasse
Zurich Highlands Grammar School
Laufen Castle North Wing