The term “caravanserai” has the air of a fairy tale, reminiscent of the stories from “One Thousand and One Nights”. In fact, those inns were important elements of trade in the ancient Orient. Built on the connecting routes of important trading centres, they offered caravans and travellers safe overnight accommodation and a supply of food.
In their design “Karvansara” for a new asylum centre in Adliswil, Azzola Durisch Architects consistently transfer the characteristics of these centres of transit into the modern era in terms of design and function, supported by Lüchinger+Meyer in the structural and façade planning. The jury awarded this successful reinterpretation “with an impressive architectural-constructive canon” first place in the competition procedure. “In summary, this entry, which is coherent and sensitively worked through in every aspect, can only raise one question: Is there a more empathetic answer to the task set? With minimal means, a maximum of clarity, robustness, identity and spatial quality is created here.”
The design, which is also very convincing from an economic point of view, is based on a prefabricated timber modular construction with front-mounted arbour elements. 60 fully installed wooden modules with identical dimensions are prefabricated in the factory ready for occupancy. The elevator shaft is also made of solid wood and is inserted from above after the modules have been erected. The walkways are made of concrete elements, the supporting structure of glued-laminated timber.
The proposed foundation principle takes into account the settlement-sensitive subsoil and promotes the rolling execution of the preparatory work: Drilled piles are installed along the load lines at 10 m centre-to-centre intervals, and prefabricated foundation ledgers are placed on their heads and grouted.
We are looking forward to the imminent realisation of the building, which will offer up to 140 asylum seekers a temporary home with a high quality of stay.
(Visualisations: Azzola Durisch Architekten)