Wüstemann created Interior Design of five large apartments named Ateliers in the stony, vaulted spaces of the old workshops.Swiss architect Gus Wüstemann has subdivided a 19th-century building in Zurich into nine flats with concrete and chipboard finishes that complement its existing vaulted ceilings and stone walls. Located in the Seefeld area of the Swiss city, the original building consists of two structures: a traditional four-storey residential house dating from 1850 and an extension in front, which was built later to host a car repair garage and warehouse.
The city council has recently protected the outlines of the entire complex, so Wüstemann had to work inside the existing walls. He stripped the interior plasterwork to reveal an existing stone wall that features throughout the renovation, named Natural Stone Wall.
“The historic, massive stone walls were the starting point for applying new contemporary forms of living,” said Wüstemann.”The wall was freed of its covering layers and we organised the space and programme in reference to the wall.” The five apartments occupying the townhouse feature open-plan living areas designed around the stone wall, which is complemented by a series of “raw” material choices. Clipboard doors slide open to reveal a bathroom behind, while large polycarbonate light boxes offer diffuse lighting.
“A fluent plan like a promenade helped to reach an endless space, instead of an addition of small spaces.”
These include a series of built-in concrete furniture, like the kitchen islands and the bathroom washbasin, and wooden windows that are mounted directly onto the slabs.
“In the workshops we answered to the large natural stone arches with a topography of concrete – a contemporary response to a strong historical element,” the architect explained. In this space, the end of the existing stone wall marks a division between the lounge at the front, and the kitchen and dining room at the rear. Simple materials are used inside, including lightweight plaster walls, concrete and wood.
On the other side, the lounge is lit from above by a skylight in the roof.
Wüstemann’s studio has offices in Barcelona and Zurich. His other projects include a house in Spain with a largely windowless exterior and a home and poolhouse with walls of concrete, oak and travertine.