A wooden-built high-rise block of flats with affordable rents

André Wicki, the head of planning in the city, and Beat Weiss, the managing director of the V-Zug Immobilien AG property company, announced on Thursday that an 80-metre-high block of flats of wooden construction was being considered for the Guthirt area of the city on a site surrounded by Baarerstrasse, Göblistrasse, Industriestrasse and Mattenstrasse, the area highlighted in the photograph.

The 80-metre height of the building, to be known as “Pi”, is that as has been determined as the maximum for high-rise buildings in the city and, if it goes ahead, is expected to cost CHF 80 million.
What is additionally of note is that the majority of the flats are to be in the affordable rent category.

In addition to the city and V-Zug property company, the Vaudoise insurance company is also involved as it owns this site, all three parties keen to ensure the development goes some way to upgrade the area.

While the project is still in its initial stages, much thought has gone into the planning of it all, though only in the middle of next year will there be an announcement about which of the designs submitted by six firms of architects has been chosen. And not until 2021 is planning permission expected to be granted.

The precise location of the wooden block of flats is on the corner of Baarer and Göblistrasse, i.e. to the left at the rear of the highlighted area in the photograph, the area of accommodation for rent amounting to 17,000 square metres. At present a building with affordable flats run by the V-Zug pension fund stands on this site but is showing signs of dilapidation; the new building would house twice the number of flats.  

As Weiss emphasised, the project is very much about affordable housing, enabling future residents to be able to walk to their places of work at the Technology Cluster. While some of the apartments may be small, they will be of high quality; other flats will be let out at prices more typical for Zug.

What is also being considered is whether there might be space in the building for provision for pre and post schoolday care, and perhaps an additional gymnasium for pupils at the nearby Guthirt (Good Shepherd) primary school.

What is currently being considered is how much wood might be needed for this sustainable development. As Wicki commented, wood is very much up-and-coming in the construction business, “and this is a good thing”.

But will it fit in? This is something else which needs to be considered.   

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