Design of the botanical institute in an existing classicistic villa

Collaboration with Staffelbach Architekten
Client: Hochbaudepartement Stadt Zürich

The Rainhof villa’s typology relates to the layout disposition of the Villa Forni-Cerato built in 1542 by Palladio and Semper’s design for the Aufdermaur villa respectively built in Brunnen in 1862. Conceptually, the project aims at clarifying and specifying the existing spatial disposition. Primarily imprecise spatial dispositions such as spatial fragmentation, the stairwell, the main entrance at the side of the building as well as the changes dating back to the 1950s were reinstated to their original condition.
By confining these functional interventions to the middle part, a new spatial sequence was created around this same, newly cleared centre that is both sustainable as well as flexible in use. Similar to a backbone, the new staircase and the glass elevator with finely engraved vines connect and give access to the various floors. The stairs’ well hole admits the daylight to the lower parts of the building. The stairs end on the roof terrace.
The fragmented structures of the attic floor were replaced with seminary rooms. Openings in the roof provide the rooms with zenith light and create a studio-like atmosphere. The basement is for spare use.