Sonnenhof Wil / Michael Meier Marius Hug Architekten

Sonnenhof Wil / Michael Meier Marius Hug Architekten - More Images+ 7

© Roman Keller

Text description provided by the architects. The nearby city park of Wil with its magnificent tree population seems to radiate over the sloping hill to the southwest on the area of Sonnenhof. The tree population of the knoll includes the tennis courts and forms the rear space for the new building with apartments for elderly to the north and east. The altitude and the view to the south, the proximity to the existing nursing home and the wooded green space are the essential characteristics of this favorable location. The proposed structure is interpreted as a kind of "Dépendance " of the existing retirement home. Situated on the edge of the site, the structure explores the qualities of the different orientations in the landscape area and the proximity to the trees. The basic figure branches out into the existing glade-like spaces and creates through its facade multilateral references for the different dwellings. In its expression the structure distances itself from the existing buildings of the retirement home, but it’s in sympathy with its colours to the surrounding trees and creates in the other hand through its altitude a precise reference to the silhouette of the pensioner housing tracts. This relationship is strengthened by the verticality of the multiple edges of the building, which is also a formative architectural element of the existing buildings, manifested by the arrangement of the balconies and the turned headbuildings.


Due to the position of the new building the outer space seems to flow around the structure. Against this background the existing trees are tried to be preserved where possible and where necessary added to strengthen the close proximity to the wooded outer space. The building is accessible from the Ulrich-Hilber-Weg at the foot of the slope. A clear break in the terrain profile creates an appropriate arrival gesture for visitors and residents as well as the entrance of the parking garage. The ground floor has a walk trail linkage connection to the community section of the retirement home. The formal design of the connection is based on the existing paths and stairs within the garden. The topography of the knoll determines the arrangement of the access structure, which opens up the shifted dwellings as a central staircase in every half-storey. From the generously designed stair landings, three apartments are accessible in every half-storey, following the section of the hillside. The spatial structure of the apartments are related to each other: from the spacious entrance area residents get in a diagonal evolving room group with kitchen, living, dining and covered outdoor space. The well-sized diagonally arranged outdoor spaces are a characteristic element of the apartments and according to the situation with distant view and closeness to the forest. Because of the slight altitude the apartments are separated from the surrounding terrain. Only in the area of the launderette an access to the green room is provided, with a forecourt and laundry rack. In addition a common terrace with magnificent distant view is proposed on the roof terrace.

© Roman Keller

The vertically structured ceramic tiles of the facade are made in a warm shade of green and give the building a delicate appearance by their plasticity and shine. The anodized metal surfaces of the vertical window bands as well as the metalwork and the roof endings complement the ceramic tiles by their colour. Inside the building travertine plates were used in the circulation spaces and living rooms. Materialized with wooden parquet the rooms distance themselves intentionally from the common spaces. The flight of stairs and the landings of the staircase are covered with a bright stone to reach a friendly atmosphere together with the skylight.

© Roman Keller

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Address:Wil, Switzerland

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
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Cite: "Sonnenhof Wil / Michael Meier Marius Hug Architekten" 11 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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