LOCATION / HISTORY
A design plan has existed for the former Saurer truck factory in Arbon (canton of Thurgau) since 2007. Named «Saurer WerkZwei-Areal», this disused industrial site is to be slowly transformed into a new city quarter of Arbon, on the shores of Lake Constance. In 2012, HRS Real Estate AG bought the plot covering a generous 200,000 m2, west of the train station, for continuous development. Besides residential and commercial buildings, a hotel and buildings for cultural events will be built on the former industrial site, but also green «breathing» spaces, for example a 20,000 m2 municipal park and a walk named after Franz Saurer, founder of the Saurer company.
On the western edge of the site, bordering the «Presswerk Arbon», the new «Wohnen Plus» building was finished in February 2017. This project was the first residential complex on the «Saurer Werk Zwei» site. The total contractor HRS Real Estate AG built 51 rental apartments on behalf of Baloise Insurance (Baloise Group). Baloise Insurance bought the land at the end of 2014 within the framework of a tender for investors.
In 2016, HRS Real Estate AG was already able to set the first milestones on the «Saurer WerkZwei» site: The «Hamel» project was launched with shops and loft apartments as well as a new Jumbo market. «Wohnen Plus» followed at the beginning of 2017, and the «Presswerk Arbon» art and culture centre was inaugurated in September of the same year. The «Wohnen am Park» development, with 18 condominiums and 63 rental apartments was opened at the end of 2017. HRS Real Estate AG will continue to develop the area with other innovative projects.
DESIGN / ARCHITECTURE
The «Wohnen Plus» development consists of an L-shaped, rust-coloured building with three separate entrances and staircases. A total of 51 state-of-the-art 2.5-, 3.5- and 4.5-room apartments are spread over 4 full storeys and one rooftop floor.
The ground floor apartments are very private as they are situated on the mezzanine floor. The apartments’ outdoor spaces are designed as projecting balconies and the rooftop floor offers spacious south-facing or lake-view terraces. Large glazed façades and balconies facing the municipal park give a particularly pleasant living atmosphere.
The finishing standard is of high quality. All bedrooms and living rooms are equipped with oak flooring and the windows are triple-glazed. The apartments are also equipped with Swiss quality kitchens. Sandstone paths, several seating areas, trees, high bushes, lawns and flowerbeds beautify the inner courtyard.
The development is built using classic solid concrete construction. The basement with underground parking covers the entire area of the plot. Two one-storey buildings, which incorporate space for bicycle parking, have been placed in the inner courtyard for accessing the underground car park.
The foundations of a former industrial building had to be dug out of the construction area. The new building was anchored using 200 posts in total in a 36-metre deep moraine, using a large drilling machine. The anchoring posts, with a diameter of 600 mm, were formed and concreted on site.
Because of the constant inflow of groundwater, elaborate construction measures were necessary. A drainage system with permeable concrete was installed around the edge of the excavation pit in order to always be able to pump the water away. Despite various challenges, the development was handed over one month earlier than planned.
ENERGY CONCEPT / SUSTAINABILITY
The «Wohnen Plus» project was built according to the Minergie label guidelines, but without applying for certification. The site has its own district heat station which forms the centrepiece of the energy supply system. From there, energy for heating is routed radially to the apartments via underfloor heating and controlled via room thermostats.
The district heat station is connected to the Morgental energy park. The district heating network, operated by Elektra Birseck Münchenstein (EBM), produces environmentally-friendly district heat mostly from sewage gases from the ARA Morgental wastewaters as well as from scrap wood.
As a further contribution to sustainability, the development’s flat roofs are covered extensively with greenery. And the roofs are built so that rainwater flows – with a time delay – into the drainage system.