Dornacherplatz Commercial and Apartment Building
Solothurn, Switzerland
Project 1993, 1995, 1997, realization 1998-2000

For the Commercial and Apartment Building Dornacherplatz we first created an urban study that reorganized an area between the medieval suburb and the 19th century periphery development and integrated it into the urban structure.

The building derives its scale from the buildings of the railway company and provides the rather peripheral square with an urban frame for the first time. This approach resulted in a building that is individually shaped towards each side and lively in its multiplicity.

Aside from the ground plan the façade is the main element contributing to the solitary presentation of the building. The structural glazing flows around the volume like a tightly fitting skin that has solidified into glass. Once, the glass is an especially reflecting mirror, once, it forms its own spatial layer with windows that are placed at an angle into the parapets. Then the parapet and window strips reunite and profile the building in an urban sense with sharp edges. Interior and exterior space seem to intersperse and restrict each other in multiple ways.

On the apartment floor, the open access corridor and the courtyards are clad in oak wood paneling. This ambivalence turns the top level of the building into an individually shaped element that offers a surprising and unexpected solution in the on-going discussion about living in an urban context.
Herzog & de Meuron.


Herzog & de Meuron Team:
Partners: Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron
Project Team: Stefan Segessenmann, Patrik Linggi, Hans-Ulrich Matter, Yvonne Rudolf, Rafael Ruprecht

Helvetia Versicherungen, St. Gallen, Switzerland

General Contractor: Conti Generalunternehmung, Solothurn, Switzerland
Structural Engineering: Weber Angehrn Meyer, Solothurn, Switzerland
Electrical Engineering: Grau + Scherler, Solothurn, Switzerland
HVAC Engineering: Gruneko, Basel, Switzerland
Plumbing Engineering: Arm + Partner, Solothurn, Switzerland
Facade Consultant: Emmer Pfenninger Partner, Münchenstein, Switzerland
Acoustics Consultant: M.Lienhard, Langenbruck, Switzerland
Physics relating to construction: Zimmermann + Leuthe, Altigkofen, Switzerland

Building Data:
Building Footprint: 1,004sqm
Gross Floor Area: 5,234sqm


Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: Herzog & de Meuron 1992-1996. The Complete Works. Volume 3.
Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Chinese ed. Beijing, China Architecture & Building Press, 2010. Vol. No. 3.

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: Herzog & de Meuron 1992-1996. Das Gesamtwerk. Band 3. The Complete Works. Volume 3.
Edited by: Gerhard Mack. 2nd adv. and rev. ed. Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2005. Vol. No. 3.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia, Richard Levene (Eds.): El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 1998-2002. La Naturaleza del Artificio. The Nature of Artifice.
Vol. No. 109/110, Madrid, El Croquis, 2002.