TYPE Housing commons
STATUS Ongoing
KEYWORDS Collective Space, Cooperative, Inclusion/Exclusion, Industriequartier, Public Space
PERIOD 21st Century
COMMONERS Residents, club members and employees of the commercial spaces within the Zollhaus, Unaffilitiated people of Zurich
INSTITUTIONS Genossenschaft Kalkbreite
REGULATORS Genossenschaft Kalkbreite (Zollhaus residents)
Roderic Günter

The Zollhaus was finished In 2021. It stands as one of the new milestones of Zurich’s cooperative movements. It Is the coopertive Kalkbreite’s second project. With It they tried to delve further In their principles for a sustainable development of housing, having special requirements for the mix of Inhabitants and a unique layout stressing the multiple uses of space. The common pool resources they share range from shared laundry spaces, kitchen spaces, shared roof terraces, but also other shared spaces Inside the building. The shared spaces Inside the building Include so-called “boxes”. These boxes are flexible spaces, who’s functions get determined by the council In the Zollhaus and once determined can get changed again.

The Inhabitants of the Zollhaus have been selected by a committee of the Genossenschaft Kalkbreite. This committee formed principles of letting, that had as a goal to let people live In the Zollhaus that represent the demographics and characteristics of the people getting ousted of Kreis 5 due to gentrification. Some other characteristics also contained gender affiliation. The goal was a most heterogenous mix of Inhabitants to the new Zollhaus.

Although the Zollhaus Is only open for a short while. The new Inhabitants have already made many successful attempts of appropriation of the building. The collective spaces such as the kitchens, courtyards and outside garden have been furnished by some groups within the residents of the Zollhaus. Also all commercial activity and the use of flex rooms and office spaces are fully booked and thriving.


Wolf, Sabine et al. Kalkbreite: Ein neues Stück Stadt, Genossenschaft Kalkbreite, 2015

Hugentobler, Margrit et al. Mehr als Wohnen: Genossenschaftlich planen – ein Modellfall aus Zürich

Dellenbaugh-Losse, Mary et al. The Urban Commons Cookbook: Strategies and Insights for Creating and Maintaining Urban Commons, Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 4.0 International License, 2020

Diggelmann, Aline et al. Zollhaus 2013 – 2021, Genossenschaft Kalkbreite, 2021


Image 1 –
This Image shows the Zollhaus with all Its outside public and collective spaces.

Meier, Martina (2021)

Image 2 –
This Image shows the Zollhaus from the Langstrasse with a clear view on the entrance.

Aerni, Georg (2021)