Retirement village in Frauenfeld

Wild Bär Heule Architekten AG

The Frei community of heirs is planning a retirement community with 33 flats in Brotegg in Frauenfeld. The project comes at the right time, says the building owner, because a change of generations is imminent in the neighbourhood. A bistro, a fountain, a paved forecourt and conifers: the image of a new housing estate at the corner of Brotegg and General Weber streets designed by the Zurich architectural firm Wild Bär Heule radiates a village idyll with Mediterranean flair. This is exactly what the developers, the Frei community of heirs, had in mind.

Their spokesman Ulrich Frei said: "With our project, we want to create a place of peace of mind in the neighbourhood." "With the settlement, Brotegg will once again be what it was in our childhood: a neighbourhood meeting place," Frei continued. According to the building application, the Familien-AG - in which all siblings have an equal share - wants to invest around 14 million Swiss francs in the construction of the three apartment buildings. The project will be largely financed by a Winterthur pension fund. The calculated rents would be slightly above the local average.

In autumn 2018, the four brothers and the sister informed the residents in the immediate and wider area. "Because the interest was so great, we had to move the event to the lecture hall of the cantonal hospital at short notice," said Frei. 75 people had attended, and from the top floor of the hospital tower one had a good view of the plot with the former farm. The residential house and farm building, on which five generations of Frei had worked as farmers, were to be demolished. The project came at the right time, because many single-family homes in Huben were facing a generational change. Fitted into the neighbourhood, three residential buildings form a loose community for living in old age. 28 flats with 2.5 to 4.5 rooms in two angular and one oblong building are grouped around a courtyard from which the former are accessed.

Architecture Visualization: Retirement village
loomn | Exterior view: Retirement village
Architecture Visualization: Retirement village
loomn | Interior view: Retirement village

The character of the housing estate varies from representative public to secluded private, which can be seen in the exterior and in the expression of the façade. The façade is clad in wood, but not in the access areas, which inside are spaces for movement with the character of a stay, and as such are also furnished, emphasising communal living.

The attic floor does not correspond to a standard solution; it complements the three-storey buildings as a sculptural conclusion. For guests of the tenants - 45 to 50 people in full occupancy - there is a guest studio. In addition, there is an underground garage for cars and bicycles, of course with an e-charging station and its own car-sharing service, as well as a public bistro, a spa and fitness area, a library, a multi-purpose room and a health clinic. The outdoor area also has a park, a barbecue area and a water playground. Of course, the building is energetically up to date. Economic sustainability is important, as the operation has to be self-supporting.

The basic idea of the Brotegg living concept is "security", which creates quality of life. Assisted living" is important for this. The company Bonacasa offers individual services: from flat cleaning to laundry service and meal service to 24-hour security. Vreni Frei Blatter, a health specialist, runs an in-house health practice, a low-threshold pre-medical advisory service that provides on-site support in areas such as prevention and care.

For the marketing of the flats, Loomn, as a professional agency for architectural visualisations, created several 3D images. This gave potential buyers an ideal impression of their possible new home. The photo-realistic visualisations show the design both from the inside and the outside. In addition, visualisations were created with different materials to examine the effect and help the architects with the designs.