Town houses at Lokstadt Winterthur

Combining an industrial look with a transparent sense of lightness


A new urban living space has been developed where locomotives used to be built. Lokstadt Winterthur is home to a mixture of residential, commercial and leisure offerings and forms a modern counterpart to the historic old city. With the new town houses on the former Sulzer site, the architects from Baumberger + Stegmeier and KilgaPopp have taken on the industrial heritage and carefully developed it so that the historic identity of the site remains visible. The outer windows of the town houses are made of highly thermally insulated forster unico Hi, and are a perfect match for the preserved industrial facades.


Located in the Swiss city of Winterthur, the Lokstadt is a sustainable urban quarter with lively squares and small parks that give the area a generous sense of space. In addition to residential buildings, the new neighbourhood also features a wide range of shops, businesses, restaurants, a childcare centre and offices, including 150 co-working spaces. 17 exclusive town houses with rental and freehold apartments have been built on site to meet more discerning requirements, some of which are designed as maisonette apartments.


Modern town houses with an industrial look

The town houses have been built in timber construction on plot 5 of the Lokstadt, where the former reception building is one of the oldest on site. As industrial buildings typically have a structure that is suitable for flexible use, it was possible to preserve and convert part of the existing building stock. As a result, the look of the town houses ties in with the style of the existing industrial buildings. The appeal of the town houses is down to the two different facade designs. While the eleven buildings on Jägerstrasse maintain the historic industrial look with their brick facades, the six buildings facing the pedestrianised zone feature large windows for added transparency.


The houses each have around 300 square metres of living space divided up by floor into compact 2.5 to 3.5-room apartments. Each house bears the name of a locomotive that was previously built here by the Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik (SLM), and features a pergola roof terrace that offers expansive views over Winterthur.


Sustainability thanks to highly thermally insulated windows

Sustainability plays a key role in the new urban living concept seen in the Lokstadt – it is the first site in Winterthur to receive the “2000-Watt-Areal” certificate for the development phase. This certificate is used to distinguish residential areas that are built with environmental protection in mind. The new buildings in the Lokstadt are certified to the highest energy efficiency level Minergie ECO in Switzerland. Furthermore, pedestrians and cyclists are given priority across the entire quarter, with good public transport connections throughout.


With the client setting strict requirements in terms of sustainable and energy-efficient building, the town houses feature steel outer window profiles with double-leaf window elements made of forster unico Hi for high thermal insulation. The system impresses thanks to its extremely high insulation values and low U values, and thus meets the strict heat protection requirements. In total, 177 window elements were installed with frame dimensions of up to 3.5 x 4.5 metres.


Sophisticated design in steel and glass

Aesthetically, the window profiles had to be able to be adapted to correspond as closely as possible to the historic legacy of the area. In addition to the arched-window design, this also demanded an impressive frame height – and all with particularly slim face widths on the window profiles. This demanding interplay of effective heat insulation and slim profiles was met perfectly thanks to profile systems from Forster. Another challenge when designing the windows was the need for barrier-free construction on the balcony windows, which meant that the thresholds had to be modified individually.


With the planners demanding a forward-thinking and sustainable approach to building, the Forster profile systems installed in the town houses and on the ground floors of the other buildings made a significant contribution. This is because building with steel is respectful of natural resources – Forster profiles are made entirely of recyclable steel, which makes them particularly sustainable. Furthermore, they have no synthetic insulating materials. With steel window profiles, the clients have chosen a sustainable product with exceptional thermal insulation values.

Winterthur, Svizzera

Products: Windows, doors and fixed glazing with forster unico Hi

Architecture: Baumberger + Stegmeier AG, Zurich; KilgaPopp Architekten AG, Winterthur

Metal fabrication: Geilinger Metallbau AG, Winterthur

Client: Implenia Schweiz

Photography: Damian Poffet