CourtyardRow houseSlab, corridorSlab, gallery-access, skip stop
Atelier 5 | Bern, Switzerland | 2000-
Image of Bodenacher
Complex seen from the north

ArchitectAtelier 5
AddressKalchackerstrasse, Bremgarten (Bern)
Building TypeCourtyard
Row house
Slab, gallery-access, skip stop
Number of Dwellingsc. 225
Date Built2000-
Dwelling Typesflats, 3 BR. maisonettes (townhouses)
No. Floors3-4
Section Typegallery access
Exterior Finish
concrete, plaster, aluminum windows
Construction TypeRC bearing walls, RC frame
Ancillary Servicescommercial, shops, parking, swimming pool

Bodenacker is part of the recent expansion of the suburban communities around Bern. Unlike the more famous Atelier 5 housing of the 1970’s, Siedlung Halen and Thalmatt built nearby on isolated sloping wooded sites overlooking the meandering valley of the Aare, Bodenacker, and another earlier project, the Ried complex at Niederwangen, were designed to be part of an existing context of streets and buildngs. The 3-story terrace house type that became the A-5 forte for the design of high density, low-rise housing type used at Halen and the two Thalmatt developments were adapted to an existing street pattern, flat sites, 3 and 4-story building height limits, and ground floor commercial functions. The great flexibility of the Halen type with 3 floors, gardens front and rear and a distant view, was shown as it survived 4 decades of development, first as a terraced type, than a 2 and 3-story matt housing system developed for the Lima PREVI competition, 1969-74, as a courtyard type at Lorraine in 1953 and finally, its reemergence as an urban courtyard type at Ried and Bodenecker where construction continued into the 21st century.

Built in phases in a neighborhood of detached houses, Bodenacker consists of two connected courtyard groups organized along Kalchackerstrasse, the main road leading to central Bern. The courts are partially landscaped and arcaded forming passageways connecting 3 and 4-story apartment blocks, and providing access to ground floor apartments and commercial spaces and to the stairs and elevators at the corners. The commercial spaces are located at the ground floor facing a parking area along the street. Two- story townhouse are used alternately either above the shops or at the ground floor opening to walled gardens with a zone of flats on the top floor that have access from open galleries. The typical maisonettes used in Reid and Bodenacker have access either from an arcade along the courtyards or via galleries at the 2nd floor. Living spaces face the courtyards and are located on the bottom floor with bedrooms and bath above. The floor plans are organized as two zones 2.10 meters wide that straddle an 80 cm circulation zone. Dwellings have balconies or trellises and the ground floor apartment open to walled gardens. Flats are located on the top floor and in the corner towers. The concrete structural frame of alternating large and small bays is expressed in the open arcades and free-standing colums, the arbors and balcony framing, and the infill glass panels.

Atelier 5, Achleitner, Friedrich (intro), Birkhäuser, Basel, 2000, p. 115.

Werk, Bauen + Wohnen, 5/1094, p. 12ff.

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