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Design Leadership Prize:
Focus Ageing Society


Giesserei, Winterthur

Ownership, fostering, assistance:

Gesewo – Genossenschaft für selbstverwaltetes Wohnen, Winterthur

Idea, planning, living:

Hausverein Mehrgenerationenhaus Giesserei, Winterthur


Galli & Rudolf, Zürich




Giesserei Winterthur – the Winterthur Foundry – is a self-managed residential settlement organised on a cooperative basis in Upper Winterthur. After several years of planning and development, the first occupants moved into the complex in 2013. Based on ecological principles and a barrier-free approach, it comprises 151 apartments as well as a number of commercial units varying widely in size, and offers a home to something like 300 people. The principal objective of the project is a mixed-age settlement – one that, without any kind of dogmatism, will encourage understanding between the generations and solidarity among residents. This also includes the integration of persons with special needs, who likewise have living and working space provided for them. All the residents, provided they are capable, take on a mandatory workload of 36 working hours in the year in order to carry out communal tasks. A versatile community infrastructure, including workshops and function rooms, provides the spatial requisites for all kinds of activities, which enhance the life quality shared by the residents.

Comments of the nominators

The Giesserei is a self-managed cooperative project. It has been pursued with great courage and commitment over the years by residents and commercial operators, and now has finally become a reality. The idea of a socially varied, cross-generational form of communal living is both experimental and futuristic. In this context, it can be understood as a model – one that demonstrates how complex needs and problems associated with the process of demographic change can be resolved on the basis of social, humanitarian and economic cohesion.