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K.I.S.S. Apartment building

Camenzind Evolution

K.I.S.S. Apartment building
By Caterina Testa -

The places we live in are often a compromise between individuality and plurality, the need to express our own identity yet conform to society’s rules, to compromise between our aspirations and practical possibilities.

Affordability and individuality were the underlying features behind the development of K.I.S.S., a complex of 46 rental maisonnettes in Zürich by architectural firm Camenzind Evolution for client Swiss Life AG.

The concept underpinning the project is key. In-depth market research in the area was the innovative way used to identify the tastes and expectations of the target client group: young people wanting personalised yet affordable living spaces in keeping with their contemporary living mindset. They were broken down into three groups: young and casual (Funky), intellectual and refined (Classic), outgoing and sociable (Industrial). As a group they were dubbed K.I.S.S., hence the name of the project. The offer was put on an interactive website and Facebook.

Although identical in volume and layout, the maisonettes differ in their materials, colours and finishes depending on which of the three target groups they cater for. The Funky apartment has a huge graffiti graphic on the double-height main wall of the open plan living room and porthole windows in the bathroom. Light coloured parquet flooring and white walls create luminous yet sober Classic environments while the Industrial typology is characterised by fair-face concrete and stainless steel finishes to meet the tastes of the more technology geared inhabitant.

Everything contributes to reinforcing the idea of personalised made-to-measure homes, from the structure and materials throughout to the technological solutions and details. The building’s position at the corner of a city block allows alternation between a frontage facing the street and a more private inward looking façade. The shiny, leather-like outer façade is...

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