Villa Rosau, Zurich

Onlookers and Silent Gates

Villa Rosau AG
Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer
2008 - 2021

Zeitgeist and historic planning


The Villa Rosau parking facility, once known as "Seegarten", is closely connected to Zurich's urban development. The garden was built in the mid-19th century on a stretch of land outside the city walls. With the gradual disappearance of the city walls and the constant forces of industrialisation, more and more lakeside land has been consumed. The quayside and perimeter developments result in the once idyllic setting of the Villa at the lake whilst integrating it into the new, urban environment.


The Villa Rosau park, built in landscape garden style, has been slightly modified due to social changes during industrialisation. The result is a crossover of French garden architectural elements and idealized English park styles. Only a few of the original plants remain.



With its prominent Lake Zurich position alongside the Hotel Baur au Lac, Villa Rosa’s parking facilities bear historic witness to local urban expansion. Clearly visible time frames are emphasized by the deliberate urban setting of the new building – in the garden and not beside it. The garden surrounds both the villa and the new building, and merges the principle of perimeter development with the historical buildings. The original design is addressed by an intersection of architectural and organic forms dividing the garden into different areas that meet new usage requirements.