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What remains is Mount Pilatus, Kriens' local mountain. Otherwise, in the still young canyons of houses and street deserts between the village centres of Horw and Kriens, hardly anything reminds one of the former idyll close to Lake Lucerne. If it weren't for the Schweighof development, part of a new Lucerne urban quarter being built on 76,000 square metres. The natural landscape of the past, which has disappeared forever, is emblazoned on the northern faรงades of recently completed apartment buildings. The unusual faรงade design brings to the fore a craft that links past, present and future.

Lรผscher Bucher Theiler Architekten
Ursula Ochsenbein
Lucerne, Switzerland
  • Purkristalat

Where facades shape the environment sustainably

Now it has returned after all, Lucerne's surroundings as they were able to inspire the Lucerne landscape painter Robert Zรผnd more than 150 years ago and have been preserved as a sparsely developed area until a few decades ago. The unexpected landscape rebirth in the present is based on an idea by the architects Lรผscher Bucher Theiler, Lucerne. They planned to design the north facades of the three residential buildings on Schweighofweg in Kriens with selected pictorial motifs by the painter Robert Zรผnd in an artistic and handcrafted manner.

The Schweighof facades with an artistic and handicraft design, do not simply represent illusionistically embellished scenarios from an idealised past. Rather, they stand on a scale never seen before almost like a monument to a craft that points far beyond the fast times that have just created it. The application technique of this two-component silicate coating is exactly the same as that one used over a hundred years ago, for example, to design the town hall in Schwyz, the old houses in Stein am Rhein or the Dornacher House in Lucerne. What was being implemented here in terms of craftsmanship and art in a place of rapid change will probably still be beautifully preserved in over a hundred years! This fact, based on historical experience, combined with the architects' affinity for Robert Zรผnd's landscape painting, finally convinced the building owners to realise the building facades with this two-component silicate technology, which, although somewhat more elaborate, had never been seen before in this form and plus, they are extraordinarily durable.

From facade to landscape design

In the building and development area of the plain between Horw and Kriens, a graceful natural landscape has disappeared forever. With the facade design discussed here, it unexpectedly reappears: As memory of a long-time disappeared idyll turned to stone thanks to a pure mineral silicate technology. The artistically designed facades are also projection surfaces that have come to life of the history of mineral craftsmanship that, present and "retold" here, points to the future. This is the cross-generational history of the pure mineral art of colour, painting and craftsmanship. This culture crystallising on a modern facade testifies to a creative power that goes far beyond purely naturalistic motifs: Here, what is literally written in stone on the facade touches our senses: The finest history of colour and craft!

Products used in this project

KEIM Purkristalat owes the required quality to its more than 140-year history and experience in the perfect coordination of high-quality, exclusively mineral ingredients such as inorganic, absolutely lightfast pigments, selected minerals as fillers and pure, liquid potassium silicate as binder. High lightfastness ensures a durable result over decades. Refinishing or restoration is not necessary for a long time and can be easily carried out even after many years. The luminosity and vibrancy of pure silicate paints are preserved for decades and create worthy ageing facades.

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