It is long time ago, when we were with our friends in Bern, Switzerland and visited this amazing brutalist complex by legendary architectural practice Atelier 5.
Called Brunnadern, the housing estate is located on Brunnadernstrasse in a quiet residential district of Bern. The project is one of the celebrated brutalist works by Swiss architectural practice Atelier 5 which was founded by Erwin Fritz, Samuel Gerber, Rolf Hesterberg, Hans Hostettler und Alfredo Pini in 1955 in the context of modern postwar architecture and influenced by the late modernist work of Le Corbusier especially. Working with the rough concrete, the Atelier 5 work is an example of the pioneering Swiss purity and austerity in an architecture language.
We visited Brunnadern complex early morning in the beautiful sun which highlighted all the lines and nice structures of these four free-standing articulated blocks which form a closed urban housing estate. However architects worked mainly in rough concrete, they created beautiful living environment which is now hidden in the greenery. Gardens are everywhere. From balconies, to the roof, to the courtyard. In the architectural form we can see many original interpretations of the classic features of the international modernist architecture. Windows, window boxes, doors, terrace details, shutters and blinds, “brise soeil” elements, spiral stairs lead to nowhere are only few beautifully designed details.
After almost 40 years in the life, the estate is still very lively and actual. With its fresh greenery, maybe more than never else.