Bubenholz senior citizens centre, Opfikon

“Space-defining figure”

A courtyard-like, densely planted garden space is cut out of the core of the complex. It is open on three sides and makes maximum use of sunlight. Müllackerstrasse is flanked by a horizontal building containing 43 care rooms that adopts the eaves height of the surroundings. It contrasts with the vertical residential tower, which contains 59 small apartments for the elderly.

A number of bends in the volume subtly introduce breaks and articulations that help adapt the complex to the local scale. By inserting rectangular spaces within the building’s polygonal outline differentiated circulation spaces that open to the facade are created in the interior.

The stacking of the floor levels and the bands that are used as a way of binding together the differentiated volumes give the building its characteristic expression. The evocation of a “moderate modernism“ establishes a sensible connection between the suburban location, the articulation of the volumes, and the differentiated function.


Müllackerstrasse 2/4, 8152 Opfikon


Tertianum AG, Zürich


Senior citizens centre


Competition 2007, 1. Prize

Planning period



Walter Mair

Overviewcompleted projects