Halen Estate
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Architect Aetelier 5
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Location outside Berne, Switzerland
Date 1957 to 1961   timeline
Building Type multifamily housing
 Construction System concrete
Climate temperate
Context rural
Style Modern
Notes "Siedlung Halen". built from standardized concrete units.




Contributions appreciated

Discussion Halen Estate Commentary

“A clearing in the wood close to the city of Berne is the location of our first housing-estate. Adhering to the strictest discipline and methods we assemble the dwelling units in high density.

“The houses (2 types, 4 and 5 m wide, both 3 stories high) are constructed as simply and as economically as possible.

“Our greatest concern is to protect the private space, interior as well as exterior, from prying eyes and to fully insulate acoustically each unit.

“The cars are parked in a large parking hall, the paths in the whole estate are free of wheeled traffic. The central road only may be used for a limited feeder service.

“The main point of this project, along with economical apartment units, are the communal facilities. With the purchase of a house each owner aquires ownership of one 79th part of all the public constuctions and installations.

“Economical treatment of the building land, organized near-urban overall layout, dwelling units of the utmost simplicity, total protection of private space, permanent absence of the possibility of building nearby, ample communal installations, made possible through the contribution of each one: this is ‘Halen.’ ”

— from Ammann Verlag. Atelier 5. p63.

The Creator's Words

“Our tendency to conceive and construct housing-estates is clearly traceable throughout our 30 years of activity.

“It has been a kind of continued struggle to make it clear that the purpose behind the construction of any single building, be it of the highest quality, is put in doubt when a community is no longer able to solve its building problems by offering its inhabitants acceptable surroundings in which to live.

“Viewed from this aspect, we consider that our suggested steps towards better ideals (rather than offering overall solutions), which our constructed estates represent, are a genuine cultural contribution.”

— Atelier 5. from Ammann Verlag. Atelier 5. p29.


Siedlung Halen
Herrenschwanden BE

project: 1955
completion: 1961
client: Göhner AG

Sources on Halen Estate

Yukio Futagawa. "Atelier 5, Terrace Houses at Flamatt, Near Bern, Switzerland. 1957, 1960: Halen Housing Estate, Near Bern, Switzerland. 1961: Apartment in Brugg, Switzerland, 1970-71", Global Architecture. Japan: A.D.A. EDITA Tokyo Co., 1973. Exterior photo p23. plan drawing of type A house, p45. plan drawing of type A house, p45. section drawing of type B house, p45. section drawing of type A house, p45. site section drawing, p45. site plan drawing and section, p44.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. plan diagram, exterior photo, p245.

Roger Sherwood. Modern Housing Prototypes. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1978. NA 7126.S48. ISBN 0-674-57941-0. LC 78-15508. photos amnd drawings, p62-65.

Ammann Verlag. Atelier 5. Zurich: Ammann Verlag AG, 1986. ISBN 3-250-10031-5. NA1353.A83B87 1986. discussion p63.  Find books about Halen Estate


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