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Urban concept
The name of the Marzili quarter on the Aare was first mentioned at the beginning of the 14th century. Today's quarter developed in the 19th to the middle of the 20th century. Its heterogeneous quarter structure consisting of rather small-scale individual buildings in the north and block edge as well as row buildings in the south lends the quarter its charming character. However, it is the proximity to the Aare and the opportunity to bathe in it, which is what makes the area on the former alluvial plain so special.
Berne Youth Hostel is located on Weihergasse, the former course of the city stream that once flows into the Aare, the last building at the foot of the Aare slope. Peter Indermühle's ensemble, completed in 1955/56, and the impressive octagon form the entrance to the quarter. The octagon is in the foreground and the room tract of the youth hostel only contributes to the necessary narrowing.

Architectural concept
Peter Indermühle's buildings are adapted to the new requirements with great respect. The original structural clarity is maintained and adjusted where necessary. The interventions consist on the one hand of small adjustments but also specifically of larger measures. In this way, the entrance/reception/bar area is lowered back to its original height and an appropriate space is created in the sense of the original open hall. The intersection of the main tract and the dining tract will be gutted in order to install a new access with stairs and elevator as well as the sanitary cells. The 20 rooms with a total of 94 beds will be reorganised on the existing structure. In the dining wing, the stairs are removed and a new staircase, in combination with the seminar rooms at the end of the dining room, leads to the gallery.
The new building will be organized like the existing room wing as a four-storey single-bundle with open access at the top. The 30 rooms with a total of 90 beds are moved alternately to the side of the Aare and to the side facing the slope in the sense of a box in the house, thus staging the location of the building between the slope and the water. The construction of the building has been reduced to a minimum and thanks to prefabricated facades and walls, it can be completed quickly. The building takes over the theme of the framed windows of the room wing as well as the structured, large-area glazed facade of the dining room and the wooden cladding of the houses along Weihergasse, in the sense of continuing the additive formal language with obvious function.
Source: Aebi & Vincent Architects SIA AG

Architects:
Aebi & Vincent Architekten Bern

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