Sun Terrace in Rapperswil-Jona
Roll: Intern Architect
Supervisior: Andrew Heid
NO ARCHITECTURE, PLLC in NYC
Contribution: Landscape Design, Master Plan Design, Rendering, Collage
July, 2017-Aug. 2017
Type: Residential Complex
Location: Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland
Size: 9,000 m² (96,875 ft²)
SUN TERRACE is conceived as a diverse village: a compact eco-district with social, spatial, and natural heterogeneity. In contrast to the existing dispersed suburban context, we propose a dense aggregation of buildings. Within this field, our site is divided into a series of interconnected exterior courtyards. Each exterior court is connected by a network of pedestrian pathways and defined spatially by three interconnected buildings. At each building, floor plates are stacked and rotated to create a sequence of shifted terraces that are optimized for views, passive solar heating, daylight and natural ventilation.
At the urban scale, each building is organized to stimulate summer cooling breezes while mitigating winter winds. The exterior courtyards create not only different scales of communal space, but also a diversity of public outdoor landscapes and pathways. The urban massing forms a hierarchy of natural landscapes, with the inner courtyards defining more intimate spaces with small gardens, while outer courtyards defining more urban spaces with community gardens and playgrounds. The natural landscapes are planted with indigenous flora, varying from deciduous forests to alleyway meadows.
Consisting of 126 (108 without extension) rental apartments ranging in area from 40 to 125 square meters, the apartments are designed as flexible and open layouts, punctuated by private terraces entered from a compact circulation core. By gently rotating the floor plates from a conventional apartment block, the resulting gesture produces individual terraces that are spatially distinct: each terrace has unique views with two exposures and direct sun. Like an origami umbrella, the uppermost floor plate is folded into a self-structuring roof canopy.
Constructed from cross-laminated timber floor plates and walls, SUN TERRACE sponsors a sustainable, carbon neutral, compact eco-district. Not only does the design reduce its environmental impact by using renewable materials by employing local industry and carbon sequestration, but also the mass timber structure stimulates high thermal insulation, natural ventilation, and passive heating and cooling. Thus, SUN TERRACE becomes an urban landscape of both social conviviality and natural sanctuary, connecting the best of urban life to nature.