Located in Winterthur, Switzerland, this multi-family housing development by Bänninger + Partner Architekten is notable for meeting Switzerland’s demanding Minergie standards for low energy consumption building. Further to this, its striking yellow façade cladding has attracted attention as an architectural landmark in the town.
The development comprises a total of 45 apartments housed within 4 different apartment buildings that have been sited within spacious green areas that include playgrounds. Although the vibrant façade colour stands out as a key design element, it interestingly was not immediately clear from the beginning that the façade would even be solid, let alone so vividly coloured.
Project architect Gérard Wolf explains that the design team investigated a number of other material solutions for the facade including wood, glass and render, as well as several other opaque plastic options before coming across ROCKPANEL ® board material. After checking the wide range of colours and designs, the choice was made for the yellow ROCKPANEL Colours Bright, which is spot on if you see the building in its environment.
Following the team’s initial inquiry about the product, the Swiss ROCKPANEL partner INOPAN rapidly supplied technical information, along with extensive support and a wide variety of different product samples in different colours. According to Wolf, this aspect was key in helping the client decide to use this product for the project.
As architects who have for a long time worked with prefabricated wood and low energy options, the large format sizes of the product along with the wide colour choice available were particularly impressive and offered considerably opportunity for design creativity.
Initially, it was planned to use a combination of different playful colours. After consultation with the client, the architects finally decided to use a classically uniform façade colour. The intention was clear to all, the uniform, striking façade colour should attract as much attention as possible. Gérard Wolf adds, ‘And indeed, the bright yellow development is today in Winterthur well known.’
Feedback from the installer (Eugster Holzbau, Fischingen) indicated no problems with the handling of the product as in addition to its lightweight properties, processes such as drilling and milling were comfortably achieved.
In addition to the vibrant colour possibilities, the cost-efficiency, fire safety, durability and design accuracy of ROCKPANEL products were cited by the architects as key benefits of specifying this product for the project. ‘From a biological building perspective, the sustainability and zero-emissions/contaminant- free composition of the product is worth noting and is something that fits very well into our concepts,’ adds Wolf.