New building

Open competition
Client: Stiftung Alters- und Pflegeheim St. Michael Naters
2002
Photocollage: spillmann echsle architekten

Like a large heavy stone the elongated volume lies in the green park. Shape, roofscape as well as materiality refer directly to the surrounding mountains. The building is made of layered light green quartzite, a local stone. Seamlessly, these sediment-like stonewalls join onto the roof, which is covered with thin stone slabs, the local and traditional way of roofing. The building also stands in a formal dialogue with the old people’s residence Sancta Maria. Within the village pattern of Naters these two structures refer to one another and symbolize two public buildings by means of their shape and proportion. The new building also interprets formal themes of the existing old people’s residence in a new way. Depending on the time of year, the balconies can be used as actual summer rooms or winter gardens.
The hallways are slightly distorted and thus allow tighter and wider spatial sequences. Like little blocks of stone the bathroom facilities protrude into the hallway in order to define the individual rooms. As a result, the hallway as a place of encounter is livened up by the rhythm of these cubes. Apart from being a reference to the former horticultural nursery, the large garden is a shady cool place of beauty and tranquillity.