Urban villa
Atelier 5 | Bern, Switzerland | 1970-72
Image of Brunnadern
General view of one of the 5-story blocks

ArchitectAtelier 5
AddressBrunnadern Strasse/Kistlerweg
Building TypeUrban villa
Number of Dwellings48
Date Built1970-72
Dwelling Types2 & 3 BR flats and maisonettes
No. Floors5
Section Typeflats & maisonettes
Exterior Finish
concrete and wood,
Construction Typeconcrete
Ancillary Servicesindoor pool, parking, caretakers's flat,storage & cellar areas, offices

These four free-standing articulated blocks form a group of similar “urban villas” located on an open site along Brunnadern Strasse. The project incorporates many of the detail characteristics of other Atelier 5 housing, but is still quite unique in the firm’s housing work. Most Atelier 5 projects are organized as “villages” that form protected interior courtyards that emphasize privacy and seclusion. These five-story blocks, however, are treated as four individual “villas” in a lush garden setting away from the street. Each building, while sharing many common details such as windows, stairs, and balconies, is treated as a unique element that has been subdivided into separate, highly individual suites. Atelier 5 employs a sophisticated, complex repertoire of details —windows, window boxes, doors, terrace details, shutters and blinds, “brise soeil” elements spiral stairs, , and other details with their trademark use of “insitu” concrete. The setback from the street and adjacent buildings and the staggered placement of the four buildings results in larger, semi-enclosed garden areas. Communal areas include an indoor pool and basement parking. Apartment types include large flats and maisonettes with large terraces to the west and connecting spiral stairs to the ground. Bathrooms are typically concentrated in the center of each block with living spaces on the south side opening to terraces at the corners.

Atelier 5, Artemis Verlag, Zurich, 1986, pp. 125-31.

Werk, March, 1972, pp. 134-35.

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