At the end life changed at all. Backwards in these days of early twenties it all started. But even way back then no one was able to understand or even forecast that change would become the only. And more. And faster. And that nothing was anymore without change. Or that what would be staying refraining from change would be without future.
A WORLD OF CHANGE
A CHANGE OF WORLD
a fragment of life in 2037
a short story
a life living in a tower
Many things broke in the wind. What was not ready for change stayed without meaning if not destroyed itself.
Change was in the beginning often rather a marketing strategy if not only an image. Mostly it wanted to find rather a next productive economy instead of a really economy of questioning. The urge of life needed more than that and soon it would become clear that what we should take care of was not the image of the moment but a potential to make any other image every other moment possible as change seems to be about an ever-ongoing regenerating flow of change.
The house I live today. It is not an apartment as an apartment has always been. It is a place to live and work. This tower I live today is not a tower as such but a community. I dare to say even a world. A world ever changing.
Once this was an office building. Even at that time ahead in thinking. And acting. It was an office space that was differently of any office space before an open space. A space where working in was energized by moving in between. And by that making working different than ever before.
After I while of working in that office it came clear that I underestimated the value of what space could really do. Floor were connected by shared in between spaces. Moving from one to another floor didn’t happened by this typical elevator and staircase cores but by here and there available staircases. In between space was given place as also all around the floor the windows were free to connect to around. Yet from the very first day of my engagement I felt that this space created another environment and by that another inspiration to engage.
Since three years ago the idea how the bank engages in the world is totally different. Only half of this tower is occupied by the bank and the other half is made available for collaborators and their families. As I work today as a loose-fit adviser to the bank I have now my office at home. My home office is not just a leftover bedroom but an integrated new kind of space. Additionally, it gives access to a fully equipped digital meeting space. Not less is that a kinder garden found place on top and also a workspace for digital printing took place in the basement.
This tower was not just an exemplary image of an understanding on ecology and ergonomics of its time but in all its features was designed to receive any future possible. Today in 2037 it is still relevant and ready for next. However, it was ever new of was prepared for more. It was made ready for re-use and it understood that re-use would become more and more a fluid event and not just every two decades phenomenon.
(Shervine is the fictive person here talking. She arrived these strange years of the twenties)
Circular is a way of life and not just a solution.
As life is more circular than ever before and as this circularity comes with a steady but faster pace; we endorse it to live it. The environment we live in not only needs to adapt to this evermore needs to inspire this.
This concept is a proposal to create platforms instead of levels. This design is a proposal to creates spaces instead of surfaces. This idea is a proposal to facilitate change instead of fulfilling the today. This project is a proposal that is rather about process of adaptiveness then about the confirmation of result. This construction is a proposal of building by more than ever prepared components then building by just on-site traditions.
At all it is a tower that perfectly and even in an unexpected way give place to the demand of today then that it also gives room to the future to come and this in a not pre-conditioned way.
Key is the floor. This floor is in all its aspects inspiring. Not only as it is a material saving proposal it is at the same time a production revolution. All can be prefabbed ahead of building on site and comes in five pieces per floor part. The fifth is the lock in the middle of the four equal parts. And as it is the lock it is at the same maybe not at all the lock. It is a piece that can be placed or can be saved to stay open. And that fifth piece changes the game. This fifth piece is named the oculus as history of architecture and engineering is around.
On one hand it allows to project an overall free surface. As on the other hand it allows that what usually is order in the center – staircases, elevators and auxiliary technical risers and rooms – can be spread all over the place. By which the idea of an all-over free floor is more than ever before possible. Differently than before as now also the middle of the floor is not anymore, the often-closed core since now available for crossing and living.
A landscape. One can perceive this now rather as a landscape then as a floor. A landscape that makes the floor rather a platform then a surface. A platform as a matter of saying to point to the around open possibilities of crossing and living differently to the always expected but predictable available free space. It is now a real and inspiring free space at all.
And not only these gentle around elements make a closer feeling of connecting. The idea of leaving the fifth element now and then away to give this oculus place inspired to now and then leave all the five elements away. By that creating a double high space connecting two platforms – read: floors -. As the platforms are landscapes these double high pocket space become like the turns into the landscapes of two floors. And as this is situated twice on each floor – read: platform – and this one time directed to the platform below and one time to the landscape above it is like each floor is connected to two other floors by these pocket spaces. These pocket space direct the landscapes vertical towards each other.
These pocket spaces do introduce on top of the inspiring landscapes of the platforms another type of inspiration. The can be the ultimate spots of connection and meeting par excellence. A mezzanine is part as also a free-standing spiral staircase. But not only that.
The pocket spaces are also space of a diverse climate. Outside terraces but included inside the pocket spaces make that outdoor experience can be better guaranteed. But also, that double high spaces ambition different quality of climate. These pocket spaces have an in between climate condition that not only as such might inspire a different way of use but also become little lunges that helps to climatize each platform in a different and direct way – we refer here to the technical note -. It makes the climatization at all much simpler and more direct as also it makes that what in the future of climatization at all – understanding that the standards of expectations are to be not only re-considered but re-inspired – needs to be achieved will be achieved yet here today.
And last but not least. These pocket spaces as also the platforms – read: the floors – are together a kind of landscape that is all around available and by that connected to the context around. Yet the open floors as such make that come true but with these pocket space that feeling of connection is more than ever before made come true. The landscape around is not anymore framed by the floor ceiling but also by the free floor ceiling of the pocket spaces.
And as these pocket spaces are more or less each time positioned per floor diagonally the experience of connection with the context around is total. Towards the city of Zug as towards to the Alpine landscape at the horizon.
And vice versa. The from one side to the other side openness of the floors makes that depending the light of the day and the season the building will fluctuating between transparent and reflecting as also these pocket spaces will be given inside view on the building. Into the life in the building. Into the world this building will be. The world it is.
From floor to platform and by pocket spaces to landscape. This is all what this proposal is about. And this in a way that spaces can and will connect people and by that change work in to an attitude rather a job. Into a way of life rather than a fulfilment.
The landscape per excellence and as only concept. In a way that it is achieved by understanding nowadays expectations on how to live together – need for social interaction but also appreciation for personal engagements – but also being future prepared – by building with less means today till as open as possible systematics of building ready for change.
The idea of ‘new-use’ – read: new built – as ‘p(re)-use’ – read: ready for change – is not only a material and ecological idea but also a social and human need that defines the idea of circularity. circularity is a rather a flow – human – and not only an act – ecology -. The landscape is by that possible the ultimate form of circularity. In all these meanings.
a fragment of life April 2026
a short story of living – working – the building yet one year
a way of working as a way of life
It is now one year I was accepted as new employee. And my acceptance happened the moment everyone moved in this new building. It was in the beginning at the same time a total excitement as it was also a matter of finding a way of living.
But that didn’t take long. Arriving in a new company is always an endeavor but it feels like here in this place it all went much smoother and gentler. As from the beginning it never felt as one was positioned in one corner and on one floor of the building. The all-around available pocket spaces helped this very much. Not only they were places of formal meeting but also points of reference for informal crossing between colleagues.
None of these pocket spaces were the same. Not only as they played on different levels and different corners of the building and in between different levels but also since they were each time different as such. One time more really worked out as formal meeting space and the other time freer. A big boulder and overwhelming green made one really a mental space. And so many different sceneries in between.
Some of them you were heading the morning to drink your first thee of the day. The other you enjoyed the sunset and the alpine view.
Being used to work in other buildings the centrals core in these buildings was always felt as an obstruction at least a dividing element. The sprawled position of more than one but much littles cores made it all different and more engaging.
Connecting is a way of life and not just an offer.
Connecting people is possible the widest but also the real urge architecture is about. Yet by the way the floor and the pocket space play together to create a world of inspiration and engagements as well inside the building as to its context around the way building do connect to the ground floor context is even more key.
Not different then the other levels the ground floor even opens itself more to connect to the context around.
Keeping all four corners free was key. Therefore, the parking entrance found a middle position. This might look contractionary at first but with a second eye it made clear that one from the inside can look over this parking entrance at all time.
And by that all expected program and without any loss of importance could find place. On the south side the inviting double high entrance does not only comes visible at first but also give clear view on the lobby space as on the position of all vertical cores as described before. They are in the same way present on the ground floor.
We dare to project the little café into the park in front. This is a gently figure as also these different gently little cores in the buildings are playful in the landscapes of the floors above.
Is the building a matter of landscape itself then also the context around is a matter of landscape at all. It is a continuation of the little meandering landscape passing by and the idea of the alpine and historical gletcher landscape ever. Soft and green and in between. The Semiramis now appears as nature itself. And the hilly side is reflected in one of the pocket spaces above.
As the ground floor is a landscape different but at the same time not different then the pocket spaces and the floors in the building also the top floor of the building is a landscape but differently. It is the final top landscape where the pocket spaces move to the center and by that together with the all-around view it becomes the place par excellence to have perspective from the city till the alpine horizon at the same time finding a protected outside space to enjoy the fresh air the other day the first sun. This top level – read: landscape – is the ultimate place to meet.
Finally; the glazed façade connects it at all. The building or rather the world in that building is ultimately connected by the context or rather the world around by this façade. The façade does technically what it needs to do – light and ecologically – and the appearance of the PV-panels as it should be but also in a playful and light way. One appears as an inclined canopy and the other as an upstand. But both suggest the total transparency however a balanced proportion between open and closed is guaranteed. This façade what it all is about: the pocket spaces not only but also the façade is the ultimate and all-around connection.
a fragment of life September 2026
a short story of walking in between
a way of walking as a way of life
Since being alone I start to walk more often then ever before. This walk heals me. Not only just by the physical act. But also by rediscovering the world around. I live this place since I was a child and it seems that I forgot to really look at it or understand it or feel it. This refreshes me today. Rediscovering the beauty of the old city. But also discovering the beauty of the new city. Or let’s say one of the new city districts around. And especially this one.
I remember me this place as not at all inspiring. It was what it was. Today it is clearly something else. A green walk in between this newness. A nice walk as such.
At one building I each time stop. It is a building that is different. At least to me. It is a building that seems to be not only a building. Something that copes with more than itself. The landscape around the building changes the green walk in between. It is softly and nicely sloped. And this landscape seems to finds its way throughout that building. It is not only a building stacking of levels. Sometimes floors are missing terraces are found. These strange high spaces with a staircase each time. And each time another look. Curtains. Is it true that I see a boulder?
The building is kind like transparent. It is like one sees light coming through. But also sometimes reflections of colors and mirrors. What are these colored objects seemingly freely scattered around this building?
Once a walked closer. The black canopies around. Looking up. Mirror on their backside. This building was already like a prism to me. A prism to look trough. A prism making this building differently. It doesn’t look like just a tower. It looks like a world.
I often sit down at the little bar in front. A gently crazy tent. Playfull. Colorful. Coffee for me.
It is a bank they say. I know it is. But it doesn’t look like. And that intrigues me. Could I open an account you think?
Construction is a way of life and not just a service.
The floors are key. This new floor in five parts. A middle part to lock it. Not really to lock it. But to close it. To eventually also leave it open. This is where the story starts.
But these floors have more story to tell. At all it comes a light floor. Up to seventy percent lighter than an equal traditional floor. By that and by its size and particularly the size of the five components it is easy to realize at the workspace and to transport it as prepared elements. This is true advantage of time management when it comes to planning.
Not only this time management is true advantage but also its weight. Less weight. And that has its influence on the entire building structure. The building now really has a better balance when it comes to the ratio of dimensioning the needs for use versus the needs to carry its own structure. The whole structure of posts and beams significantly designs itself differently by this.
A wooden structure comes into place. It is the right material at the right moment. It allows to design the column structure in parts that clearly are about supporting the kind like softly arched floors and about guiding it’s all over weight down.
The concrete and the wood are the best materials to do the work for each of the components of the building. They both sign of four reduction of material and by that for a real ecological revolution. The revolution is not a matter of just material choice but a matter of material reduction at all time as also a maybe first of all a matter of strategy of materials. The strategy of optimization rather than the dogma of material. This exercise seems merit.
The next world will be ecological and the ecological will be found by all together and not by excluding. This saying counts for material and for concept. The concept of all materials needs to be rethought and redefined much more over then just excluding and by that dogmatizing.
This project is example to that. More over as it introduces here a building process that is in site as good as a dry building concept and by that has a significant influence on the process of realization. This is not only in favor of the all over building site cost but also in favor of the ecological influence on the context around.
That fifth part of the floor inspires to rethinking the concept of vertical transportation is yet one advantage. That it by that creates the special – architectural – advantage to creat an open floor field is the ultimate outcome.
And this not only delivers a divers and inspiring floor – read: landscape – to work but also to change. It also delivers another appearance of the building throughout season as well the day. Glazed facades are always mirroring by its nature of being glass unless light appears behind. This is exactly what happens since the open floor. The building will not appear in only a binary image of day reflection and night transparency but in a graduation of all kind different levels of transparency and reflection and this in a constantly change.
By that the building appears to present itself in the most honest way. The wooden structures and the softly arched floor come into the front of perception. The loosely fit PV panels on the slightly sloped canopy but also the upstands at each floor becomes a ‘loose-fit’ compositions of all the components the building is only.
And as said: everything is reversible and by that example of circularity. Because ecological thinking is as said not only a matter of material choice but also material optimization and this never without the idea of capacity of the circularity of materials a first. All what we introduce should ready for change. This is the basic of all.
The pocket spaces can become the maybe even more here example. The in between spaces can be realized by windows that are windows reused from other projects and histories. The in between spaces and the in between climate of these spaces allow this. Yet large collections of available materials on the market gathered by specialized organizations are inspiring to that. And the moment of building one will be able to get a real image on that.
That is yet sign of the attitude at all: building as a well prepared and optimized process – the reversible circularity of optimized and ahead prepared components without material dogma – as also open to the moment of process to accept and even invite the chances found at the moment.
The dry rough building experience concludes in a dry finishing at all. Technical floor level out the arched floor but by that take advance of a unique available space to guide all technical transportation lines from tubes to data into that floor. And by that makes like everything available at every point. And this without complex ways of find service canals into floor as these spaces are available by the nature of the structural floor.
The ceiling stays by that free at all time but ever give place to free hanging lightning and other eventual necessary technical components. It is even beautiful as such.
And at all. Taking this account. And however this ‘crea-tower I’ of name it from now on rather ‘first new world’ is the scope of this demand and proposal at the same time it is expected to give a glimpse of idea on the second one.
Almost easy to give: what about creating – yes; the word creating is here as good as on it place yet from the moment of constructing – the second one in immediate terms parallel to the first one as the dry construction side technic allows to realize everything in a faster way and by that very possible in a parallel way at the same time the preparation of side can be multiplied many times more and by that economically and ecologically with a better efficiency.
And at the end: with two it becomes really a ‘world’. A ‘world’ of ‘working and living’ in together in a different way than ever before.
The attitude of preparing what is new for change is in a reverse way projected in the suggested attitude towards the old existing building on site. Almost like seemingly impossible to combine with the second tower the juxtaposition of the once next to the other and in the way, they are – also sign of their time – is what real cities and real life is about. The existing building does not need a make-over – to say it in an ironical way: however, the idea of circularity and the ‘libraries of re-usable materials’ gathered by upright organizations we do not need to create these ‘materials for libraries of re-usable materials’ as such. Therefor we propose to keep the existing as good as possible and to shift the proposed program of market space for the second tower into this space. On can consider the availed showroom and the outside front space as the ideal marketspace at all. And sure. The market will become that attractive and successful that of course it will wave out under the second tower not less.
The parking underground will be designed to be prepared for more than being a parking. The way the entrance is positioned in the middle makes that this entrance can a will become at the moment of change yet available to become part of the architecture of openness of the new building as such. Yet now today this is transparent.
a fragment of the years of building
a short story
a life making cities
This was the last construction site I guided in my long career. Construction sites and leading construction sites was my life. I saw so many. And I saw so many evolutions. Each time new ways of construction came along I was happy to explore them and to make them come true.
But never before I experienced such a change as in this project. The moment we started the above construction site it was like all ways different than ever before. Maybe I should say it differently: all was not without the knowledge of ever before but was about redirecting all this knowledge into another flow of thinking and acting.
And how ever the last decades ecology became guide this felt as really different and ecological. It felt as if the use of every material and every action and every aim came in balance and differently as ever before.
Seemingly the architects and engineers at a certain point were able to convince the client to embark to realize the both towers at the same time. I never got the real story behind but clear is that it made sense. As far as my long-life time career might play role in debating this I can confirm that the efficiency was ultimate.
One day I had lunch with the structural engineers and the inventors of this floor system. Last year on vacation I looked differently to the gothic cathedrals we visited in France. I recognized the project into that. Architecture was to me always a secret love. But now I understood how architecture and history and future somehow are related.
Also for us.
Happy to share with everyone.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s floorplan for tower buildings became classic from the first moment. The towers of Mies were examples of a timeframe of thinking. The materializations and the economization were key and accordingly the new insight understandings of a time and at the same time the ground plan was revolutionary not less imaginary for a new social way of living. The core was the middle point of a free plan around.
Richard Rogers Lloyds of London building shifts that idea inside out. All what was as always in the core of a building shifted to orbital around and the core itself became a ring of free floor circulating around an all over atrium. Again, this revolutionary shift however maybe also a deeply historical rooted idea – think about cathedrals were space is in the core and everything else like structure and tower situated staircases are at the perimeter – was next to its technical and special understandings and ambitions accordingly the capacities of the time also an expression of an open mind society.
The proposal today is – we stay descend – in a certain way in search of understanding the nowadays challenges and chances. The newest evolutions in the practice of making and reuse are cornerstone of the proposal as also the nowadays understanding of how we will live in and work in this world to come. The concept of the plan is the outcome of this. Cleaning out all elements like cores and infills delivers a total free floor ready for any use – free space – and reshuffle of all needed – the vertical connection and other kind like -. By that this proposal and for the very first time is a proposal in which the structural choices at no time limit the available space whenever this space in any future perspective is expected to become another kind of space. Central cores are free and light and do not appear in the structural scheme of the building. Visual bracing is the simple key to that and of a same kind of nature of material economy as the whole set out and above laid out concept of building.
People live and unite differently today. Society tend to become more ‘horizontal’ – read engaging – then ‘vertical’ – read: hierarchical -. By that the architectural language shift. Real transparency is the needed expression and human scaled proportions the ultimate concept. Atria – the urban reference and expression of power – are replaced by pocket spaces – the human context and the feeling of home as change -. Dedicated surfaces – the economy of flexibility – are now about to be inspirational places – the economy of human connectivity on top -.
This proposal ambitions to not only to deliver service to a programmatical request nor to answers as expected as possible to an ecological change. The ecological change does not only need answers but also the dare to re-question. This proposal is also about that. And on top of maybe finally at first to reflect everything at all in an understanding of the history of architecture and human kind as also daring to project different ideas of which one can believe they make not only today but also in a future perspective sense. The future will come – is yet – faster and change faster – very sure – than ever before.
Being ready. That is what this proposal is about.
Looking forward to work together on this.
Architecten Jan De Vylder Inge Vinck
Jan De Vylder, Inge Vinck, Barbara Mazza, Claudio Cortese, Jacopo Zani, Masa Mori, Jan Skuratowski, Leonid Slonimskiy, Artem Kitaev, Nikolay Martynov, Dmitriy Prikhodko, Natasha Krymskaya, Vsevold Babichuk
Archipel Generalplanung AG
ZPF Ingenieure AG
Jacqueline Pauli, Philippe Block, Tom van Mele
Amstein + WalthertAG
Mario Kuvac, Patrick Füglistaler, Marcel Schneider, Elias Wechsler
Fire safety consultant
Transsolar Energietechnik AG
Mathias Schuler, Francisco Gallardo, Raphael Lafargue
Façade design consultant
Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG
Amberg & Loglay AG
Circular economy consultant