Project: Spiserstrasse, Zurich Albisrieden

A Zurich project inspired by London

Large areas with good development potential are hard to come by in Switzerland’s city centres. So you can imagine just how exciting it was when Allreal was presented with the opportunity to acquire a plot that fitted the bill at the heart of Zurich’s Albisrieden district. As a property company with its very own projects and development division, Allreal is perfectly positioned to take on this kind of project given that the company has access to an impressively broad range of skills and expertise that is unmatched on the market.

Allreal purchased the plot spanning around 3,065 square metres at Spiserstrasse 14–18 back in November 2018. It is located close to the Utogrund sports field, between Letzigrund Stadium and the centre of the Albisrieden district. This central location means that the area is easy to reach by car and on public transport. At the moment, the land is home to three blocks of flats that date back to the 1930s.

Allreal bought the plots from Leutwyler Dienst­leistungen AG, an organisation dedicated to helping young people with their education and training that still owns other nearby plots.

“We started working closely with Leutwyler Dienst­leistungen AG before we even kicked off the tender process, with the aim of producing our best work.”

Stefan Dambacher,
Head of Development and Member of Group Management at Allreal, Glattpark

Repurposing to create urgently needed living space

The properties are so old that their structures, energy efficiency ratings and fixtures and fittings are simply not up to the standards required these days. And with the demand for additional living space consistently high in the city of Zurich, it soon became clear that a new build project was on the cards to make much better use of the space in line with the current building and zoning regulations. “With the high level of demand for residential properties here to stay for now, some of the flats will be sold as condominiums”, says Stefan Dambacher, Head of Development and Member of Group Management at Allreal, explaining the company’s plans.

With a view to keeping the standards on this project high in terms of both implementation and architecture, Allreal launched a study contract at the start of 2020. This strategy allows for lots of ideas to be brainstormed and assessed by an expert panel, ensuring top quality for the project. It soon became clear that the ideal scenario would be for the property to be developed in partnership with the owner of the neighbouring land, Leutwyler Dienstleistungen AG. “On that basis, we started working closely with Leutwyler before we even kicked off the tender process, with the aim of producing our best work on this plot.”

Architecture tender to keep the project standards high

Five prestigious architecture firms were invited to take part in the joint study contract. “When choosing architecture firms to participate in a tender, there are several factors we always consider”, says Ursina Caprez, the Project Manager working on the development side of things on this project. It is important that companies are based in the local area, as that means they will feel a certain level of attachment to the location and the project. They also need to know all about the local regulations in place. “We obviously also expect them to have an excellent reputation and references to match”, says Caprez.

The panel, made up of seven experts and led by architect Florian Zierer, unanimously decided in favour of the plans submitted by Zurich-based ADP Architektur Design Planung AG in July 2020 and recommended that the project should proceed on that basis. The project is based on an innovative urban development concept and has a distinctive design, centred around a seven-floor new build with 63 condominiums and 43 rental apartments.

Work on that winning project is still underway. The review phase is an essential step in ensuring that the whole process goes smoothly. At this stage, crucial discussions take place with various parties involved in the project, including the sales and implementation teams. “The review phase gives us chance to fine-tune the plans and do all the groundwork ahead of submitting the planning application”, explains the Project Manager.

“The current set-up with space for parking and deliveries in the north of the courtyard made us think of traditional London mews – little rows of courtyard houses along private driveways tucked behind grand townhouses dating back to the 18th century.”

Patrick Frauendorf,
Architect and Joint Owner of ADP Architektur Design Planung AG, Zurich

The spirit of London adapted for Zurich

“The current set-up with space for parking and deliveries in the north of the courtyard made us think of traditional London mews – little rows of courtyard houses along private driveways tucked behind grand townhouses dating back to the 18th century”, says Patrick Frauendorf, Architect and Joint Owner of ADP Architektur Design Planung.

But with the layout less than ideal, the team at ADP was forced to rotate the mews design by 180 degrees and replace the buildings and the open spaces. The result is an urban block filled with apartments that all benefit from an interesting view, plenty of natural light and a lovely outdoor space.

The new build basically consists of two parallel rows of buildings with different heights. They are set out down what looks like a narrow street, with a building running the other way at either end to create a courtyard. The row on the west side has three floors and is relatively narrow. Six large passageways on the ground floor connect the courtyard to Spiserstrasse. In contrast, the row on the east side reaches up to seven floors tall and is almost 20 metres deep in places.

This main building defines the infrastructure of the entire project with its four large, central stairwells. Thanks to the smaller row on the west, the apartments on the lower floors in the main building are very private and the design of the outdoor space is lovely and homely. Up on the higher floors, residents will be able to enjoy a stunning view. There are plans for industrial and residential buildings to be built on the other side of Spiserstrasse, but they will be too far away to present any kind of problem.

Development, sales and everything in between

As well as developing and implementing the apartments, Allreal will be getting its sales team involved in this project. The company has all the skills required along the entire value chain to take care of the development, implementation and completion of properties that hold their value in the long term.

According to the current schedule, the planning application for the overall project, representing an investment of CHF 75 million, will be submitted by the middle of 2021. Then, depending on the approval process, construction is due to start on the condominiums by the end of 2022. The first residents should then be able to move in at the start of 2025.

Project overview
Building contractorAllreal General­unternehmung AG, Zurich / Leutwyler Dienst­leistungen AG, Zurich
Project developmentAllreal General­unter­nehmung AG, Zurich
Total contractorAllreal General­unter­nehmung AG, Zurich
ArchitectureADP Architektur Design Planung AG, Zurich
Building volume40’368 m3
Plot size4’623 m2
Floor space10’167 m2
Planning application
due to be submitted
Middle of 2021 (according to the schedule)
Construction
due to start
End of 2022 (according to the schedule)
Project due
to be completed
Start of 2025 (according to the schedule)