In the Swiss municipality of Bussigny, Crissier-based architecture practice Bertola & Cie – SIA has completed the 65 Degree Group Housing project, a collection of low-energy housing units that are deliberately oriented at 65 degrees to optimize solar collection and to ensure private garden spaces for every dwelling. Created as an “alternative to densification,” the housing complex consists of a mix of simplex and duplex typologies that cater to a variety of residents across different generations. In addition to solar panels, the project further avoids dependence on fossil fuels and promotes healthy living with the inclusion of two air-to-water heat pumps, green roofs and a double-flow air mechanical ventilation system for reducing micropollutants. 

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A rolling green landscape with a housing complex with a vertically tiered, off-white facade.

Completed in 2020 after three years of development, the 65 Degree Group Housing project in West Bussigny was created as part of a larger development scheme to introduce 3,000 inhabitants to the area by 2030. At the heart of the architect’s design is the desire to create a village-like community where each resident can enjoy an outdoor balcony and green space for winter gardening. 

A housing complex with a tiered, off-white facade with balconies.

“The architectural concept rigorously follows the will to mark volumes plastically in a suite or a repetition of units voluntarily marked on the street side so that the future inhabitants identify their dwellings not with a housing bar but with small houses of 3 levels joined together,” the architects said of their design intent. “The building thus develops linearly and parallel to the street over a distance of almost 100m. A grid structures the project and is reflected in the structure of the building for the stairwells and is identified by the structural entablature of the in-situ and prefabricated concrete terraces.”

The interior of an empty apartment unit with light-colored wood accents and white paint.

Related: Experimental prefab home eschews fossil fuels in Geneva

Metal railings and clinker brick help break up the concrete facade along the southwest side of the housing complex, while light-toned wood surfaces line the light-filled interiors. 

+ Bertola & Cie – SIA

Photography by Mathieu Gafsou