Deaconry Bethanien

Deaconry Bethanien is a multi-use building in Zürich featuring a gorgeous rendition of rationalist architecture. Designed by Switzerland-based E2A Architects, the building’s program includes an elderly care facility along with a hotel, restaurant, and conference room.

The rationalist structure draws inspiration from the surrounding neighbourhood, which is mostly occupied by industrial buildings. On the exterior, sliding glass windows are placed methodically on all sides of the façade, and as the windows slide open, they add a nice variety to the strict repetition. Cutouts on the ground floor feature glass doors instead of windows, allowing access inside without disrupting the design flow.

The interior continues the simple rhythm of the exterior. Smart space planning and engineering allowed for a column-free structure, generating a feeling of openness throughout. The interior walls and ceilings are comprised of polished concrete, while light wood floors and dividing walls add warmth to the design. In most of the rooms the windows take centre stage—their openings providing visual interest in place of traditional decor.

There is something calming about the precise geometry of this building. The exterior and interior exist in perfect unison, and I love the beautiful predicability of it all.