Building land is hard to come by in Switzerland. This inflates real estate prices and excludes many who dream of their own home from the property market. At the same time, urbanised areas have been sprawling relentlessly, with severe consequences for the environment. The real estate sector must find innovative and sustainable ways of addressing these major urban, socio-cultural, environmental and economic challenges.
Small scale-housing might offer a pathway to creating climate- and resource-friendly housing space in compliance with the legal requirement of urban densification. At the same time, it might mitigate the economic pressure on the housing market and meet the new housing requirements between individualisation and social interaction.
The interdisciplinary research project of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts investigates the potential of “small-scale housing”, considering the occupants’ needs, different architectural typologies, and social-scientific, economic and environmental factors. The results are made available in the shape of socio-demographic profiles within the different demand and utilisation segments and of practical guidance and planning recommendations.
The project is kindly supported by Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, the Interdisciplinary Clusters (ICs) of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts as well as many industry partners.
- Hawa Sliding Solutions AG (main industry partner)
- Kleinwohnformen Schweiz Association
- Swiss Federal Office of Housing
- City of Zurich, Office for Urban Development
- Kalkbreite Cooperative
- Kraftwerk 1 Building and Housing Cooperative
- Maria and Heinrich Th. Uster Foundation
- Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank
- Uster AG Planer Architekten
- Metron Architektur AG
- Acht Grad Ost AG
- Marion Burkhardt Architect + Building Biologist
- René Hodel (landowner, municipality of Buttisholz)
Despite the increasing demand for, and popularity of, small-scale housing, no universally recognised definition of the term exists to date. In the framework of this survey, not only single-family house typologies such as tiny houses and miniature houses and different types of mobile home from caravans to house boats are being considered, but also multi-family dwellings such as blocks of micro-apartments and collective forms of housing such as shared flats and cluster apartments.