Home for Senior Citizens
Chur, Graubünden Switzerland
Peter Zumthor 1993
The 'hand of the architect' and
the craftsmanship of construction are qualities that make this building
stand out. A long slab containing a row of apartments on two floors,
this building seen from a distance would be similar to the surrounding
'modernist' blocks if it were not for the noble use of materials as
opposed to only paint.
Tufa and glass cover most of
the facade; larch wood is used for the framing of openings and the
interior paneling; exposed concrete at fewer points reminds us of the
existence of a physical structure. And it is that the real structure of
this building is social which is ultimately expressed in its spatial
The east facade holds two
entrances to the building which are integrated into the row of double
height windows, but the space inside is always single height: the large
windows are more of an 'effect' as in much of Zumthor's work. The
entrance leads into a large common space that distributes the
inhabitants into their personal living units. Instead of a hallway this
space is more like a long living room which has been subtly parceled by
the repetition of the apartments and by the personal furniture of the
inhabitants, although in an unobtrusive way and keeping a communitarian
sense in the space.
The cells are more like big
pieces of furniture themselves since their volume and partitioning
doesn't seem to touch the ceiling and floor. The rhythm created as the
cells move in and out and the play between depth and surface make the
cells appear like individual notes of a musical score. The west facade
expresses the individuality of the the living units while still
remaining loyal to the singularity of the whole.
By bus: From Chur train station
take bus line #4 direction Altersheim and stop at Cadonaustr. station.
The building is a few meters to the right side.
By car: Highway A13 exit Chur Nord, direction center, straight ahead at the roundabout ca. 100m, turn left into Kirchgasse, turn left at the
top of the hill, drive ca. 200m until you arrive at the Home for Senior
The building can only be visited
from the outside. For more information call +41 81 354 5454.
Books and other web
The city of Chur has a very nice website with an interactive map that
can help you find the location of any address that you query. http://www.chur.ch.
All links outside galinsky will open in a new window. Close it when you've
finished, or use the Window menu on your browser, to return to galinsky.