- Civil Engineer : Heinz Katzenstein AG
- Engineer : Scherler AG Solothurn
- S /H /L Ing : Enerconom AG
- Owner : Messer Begleitung & Bestattung
- Site Area : 1 894,00 m2
- City : Solothurn
- Country : Switzerland
"Only the opposites can teach man the world. He who does not know the dark, can not recognize the light.“ -
The projects outline is determined by the particular structural and the diametetrical situation of the town and the wide space requested of the project and the conditions of the site. The contradictions of place and space is the starting point for an intense controversy with opposites like tranquility and noise, old and new, or life and death.
The idea of a habitable funeral home to be built in an urban prominent position, implies the question of the appropriateness regarding the daily confrontation of death at the western ‘entrance gate’ to the city of Solothurn. This provision requires a very sensitive approach with regards to the selection of the material in an urban setting. The residential and commercial building needs to be, on one hand, despite the lower volume; to fit in with the guidelines of the city’s formative building laws. On the other hand, it has to satisfy the demand for a more restrained ‘devout modesty’ which has to be justified in its function. The upstream, the characterization of the road space to the commercial building serves as a sound and visual protection at the rear of the residential buildings. Together the two buildings include a private courtyard which provides the necessary serenity and privacy of the living area.
The exposed concrete gives the building the necessary strength to volumetrically exist within the city’s structure. The bamboo-like structure of the concrete breaks through the concrete’s intrinsically impenetrable surface and gives the building light through constant change in accessibility.
The commercial building is accessed via the main entrance in the west. The golden relief-like deposited west facade leads visitors to the reception area. The one facing Bielstrasse aligned with the courtyard and the large windows opening to the east allows the visitors continuous access to the outer rooms without disturbing the required intimacy. An abdication room with about 50 seats is open to people of all cultures and religions. The actual mortuary is directly accessible via an electronic locking system, day and night; for the bereaved. A big storage area for coffins can be found on the ground floor, and additional storage rooms in the basement.
The house, which through the situated part from the building of the commercial house, is protected from traffic noise and will be independently developed from the northern side via a two-story courtyard. The guest room, a study, a living-dining room and the kitchen are on the ground floor and all the bedrooms on the first floor. The living quarters are based in the area encompassed by the commercial building courtyard. The terrace on the first floor can be reached directly via an outside staircase from the ground floor patio.
Materialization / Construction
The chosen design and the materials used, comply with the monolithic, sculptural design and meet the requirements for sustainable overall conditioning of the building owners. The one with OSB peeled tiles exposed, supports the concrete building in its bold setting in relation to the place. The massive support and design structure provide a quick and easy constructional design and meet the requirements of sound and thermotechnical standards. Optimal insulated components from an average of 0.1 W/m2 K for horizontal surfaces and 0.12 W/m2 K for vertical surfaces as well as a compact and dense building envelope allows the MINERGIE standards to be realized at a reasonable cost. The necessary air exchange between interior and exterior spaces is carried out by controlled air renewal. This type of air renewal can be reached in all of the apartments at a high level of comfort. The extensive green flat roofs offers optimal summer heat protection and guarantees the necessary sustainability.
The supporting structure of the new buildings will be carried out in massive construction. The inner walls are made of masonry and trabeated concrete, reinforced concrete ceilings are designed as a flat ceiling. The buildings are configured by means of a seismic system application in accordance with SIA 261 and 262. The entire basement of the residential buildings enables easy flat foundation on a sustainable and appropriate building. In houses without cellared areas, the loads will be transferred on to the viable layer in the subsoil via strip foundation.
It is a self-regulating underfloor heating installed with low operating temperatures of a maximum of 30 ° C. The resulting soil temperatures of a maximum of about 24 ° C , thus preventing overheating of the individual rooms. As soon as the room temperature is warmer than the floor, the heat output is stopped via the underfloor heating by itself. The increasingly important thermal comfort in the summer (summer heat protection) will also be given due consideration by the required criteria such as: external sun protection, not covered massive components, optimum g-value of the window, etc. which are all taken into account within the design.