The medieval township of Regensberg represents a place of unparalleled quality with its unique location, history and urban clarity. The historic town center consists of the rounded “Oberburg” with the town’s castle dating back to the foundation of the town in 1244 and the adjacent “Unterburg”. With its unique location on the eastern foothills of the Jura Mountains, Regensberg enjoys spectacular views over the surrounding Zurich Under lands up to the Alpines.
House Ledenmann, a two-storey half-timbered building located on the south slope of Unterberg is one of many historical jewels found in Regensberg. The poor state of the house, due to various structural damages and numerous improper repairs, a simple renovation of the house was no longer possible. In close cooperation with the municipality and the townscape protection committee, the final decision was to partially demolish and rebuild the house in its original volume. Two frontal half-timbered facades and a vaulted cellar have been preserved due to their presence on the preservation list. Finally three sculptural, modern multi-family houses were constructed behind the historical face of the building.
The unique volumetric of the three apartments was created between the distinctive facades. The north facade with filigree truss and muntin window, facing the town, is a valuable component of the historic township. The generous south side with an additional floor due to the slope provides a breathtaking view over the Swiss landscape. The contrast between the opposite facades made it possible to develop a dynamic interplay of proportion, light and materiality. Small, wooden paneled chambers donate a peaceful and safe atmosphere, creating a strong link to the history of the area. Encircling the chambers are large white spaces inviting in the mesmerizing panorama through generous openings. Altering levels and ceiling heights turns the perspective of the rooms into a three-dimensional journey with ever-changing views and light situations.
In the façade, the contrast between new and old is clearly demonstrated. The new façade consisting out of grey spruce wood wraps itself around the new build incorporating the preserved façade and reshaping the original volume. A light guiding fireplace in the attic, a cantilevered bay window and sliding doors incorporate vernacular elements and restructure the outer skin. The semi-transparent wooden sheeting are covered in irregular ornaments, as it still prevails in the rural construction culture. The new façade dissolves into a delicate envelope, providing the exterior and interior with playful collaboration between light and shadows.