Residential stories

Two couples, a family of three, and two individuals talk about their various living arrangements. These five housing stories are the starting point of the design.

Residential story 1

Seraina Grüter (40) lives in the building with her two children, Tim (13) and Nadia (16). She recently took over her parents’ 3.5-room apartment where she herself grew up. Luckily, an additional room, with a shower and toilet—which can be used to expand individual apartments into larger units—became available next to her apartment on the moving date. Since the 3.5-room apartment for her and her two children is a bit small, Seraina rented the extra room for her daughter, Nadia. In order to balance the demands of looking after two children and her job, Seraina works alternately at her office and in a work corner of her apartment. The work area simply disappears behind a sliding panel when not in use.

Residential story 2

Seraina’s parents, Rahel (65) and Hans (67) have moved into a large shared apartment for seniors within the same building where they now live with four other retired couples.

Residential story 3

Philipp (48), Seraina’s ex-husband, lives in a single apartment in the house. This means that Seraina and Philipp can provide shared parenting. Both appreciate the building’s infrastructure with its grocery store, café, small gym, lunchtime restaurant in the communal space, plus a doctor’s practice. They also feel comfortable here because different generations live side by side. Seraina and Philipp's children were born in the rented birthing center and later attended the on-site crèche. Seraina and Philipp do not own a car, but they make use of the two car-sharing vehicles parked on the site or one of the cargo bikes, which they can book by app.

Residential story 4

Geography student Vera (23) is doing an internship at Seraina’s traffic-planning office. She lives in the ten-person student shared apartment in the building.

Residential story 5

Luzia (54) lives with her husband Tom (54) in a 2.5-room apartment one floor above Seraina. Luzia and Seraina know each other from a yoga class at the studio in the building. Luzia, who works as a journalist, often uses one of the coworking spaces in the building. Tom is a self-employed accountant who also mans the building’s reception desk. This is where the residents can pick up parcel deliveries, book communal rooms, register for a coworking space, report damage, or hire one of the visitors’ rooms. Tom and Luzia gladly make use of visitor rooms when their grown-up daughter comes to visit with their one-year-old grandchild. So, even though their own apartment is small, they still have plenty of space.