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A Residence made entirely of Swiss Timber, Köniz



The Arborea residential house in Köniz, which is concealed behind the solidly constructed arcades, is a pure timber construction.

Tree-y: Concrete Trunks Support the Arcades zoom
Tree-y: Concrete Trunks Support the Arcades
Free View to the Outside Thanks to Large Window Fronts zoom
Free View to the Outside Thanks to Large Window Fronts
Opposite: Timber Residential Building Meets Concrete Stem zoom
Opposite: Timber Residential Building Meets Concrete Stem
Lots of timber in Arborea (Photos: Hall 58 Architects, Christine Blaser) zoom
Lots of timber in Arborea (Photos: Hall 58 Architects, Christine Blaser)
Exterior view zoom
Exterior view

The Project

The Arborea residential building is located on a quiet residential street near the center of Köniz and only a few minutes' walk from the train station. There are 21 apartments in the five-story house. The residential units have 2.5 to 4.5 rooms and are between 53 and 108 square meters in size. The apartments are accessible through the arcades. The new residential building has been designed for tenants "who combine their idea of urban living with proximity to the city center, an environmentally friendly lifestyle and openness". For example, the arcades are shared and a common room is available to the tenants.    

The Construction

The special features of the residential building: the outer arcade, through which the residents can enter their apartments.  

is statically completely uncoupled from the timber cube. The arcades are supported by curved concrete columns reminiscent of tree trunks.  

The residential building is a timber construction. The interior walls made of solid timber panels are load-bearing and stiffening. The entire horizontal bracing was thus solved via the timber construction, i.e. via the inner walls, and not, as is so often the case, via a concrete core. The residential building also gets along without steel girders. All the timber used for Arborea comes from Switzerland.  

The façade is made of untreated timber from white firs from the Emmental, the window frames of larch timber and the fire-resistant windows of oak. The building has a very well insulated building envelope. Design and materialization of the façade support the passive use of solar energy. Solar collectors cover the flat roof almost completely and supply the house with the necessary residual energy. 

Construction Data

  • Exterior walls frame construction 1000 m²
  • Interior walls made of cross laminated timber 1100 m²
  • Ceilings of timber-concrete composite 1720 m²

Construction Costs

  • BKP  1-9:  9.6 Mio
  • BKP     2:  8.7 Mio
  • BKP 214:  1.6 Mio

Timbatec's Services

  • Feasibility study
  • Preliminary/construction project
  • Text for tender
  • implementation project

Architect ARGE PSO (Lead Management)
Halle 58 Architekten
3005 Bern
Timber Construction Engineer
Timbatec Holzbauingenieure Schweiz AG, Bern
3012 Bern
Building Physicist
Marc Rüfenacht bauphysik & energie
3012 Bern
Timber Construction
Hector Egger Holzbau AG
4901 Langenthal
Architectural Engineer
Tschopp Ingenieure GmbH
3006 Bern
Building Owner
Raiffeisen Pensionskasse Genossenschaft
9001 St. Gallen


  • Mehrfamilienhaus Arborea, Köniz

    Apartment house Arborea, Köniz

    Lignum Holzbulletin 136/2020, Sustainable Building Solar Architecture - Behind the solidly built pergolas and terraces, which are supported by tree-like concrete elements, is a pure timber construction. In terms of sustainability, the apartment building is exemplary in many respects, with the passive use of solar energy setting a visible sign - as does the choice of wood from the region. (Report in german)

  • Wohnen zwischen den Lauben: Mehrfamilienhaus Arborea, Köniz/CH

    Living between the arbors: Apartment house Arborea, Köniz/CH

    Deutsche Bauzeitschrift 4.18 - "Expressive, self-confident and ecological" - this is how the Deutsche Bauzeitschrift (DBZ) describes the multi-family house Arborea in Köniz The building in the Bern suburb, where Timbatec was responsible for the statics, is presented in the specialist publication from Germany on no less than six pages. The five-story Minergie-P-Eco multi-family house, which has been inhabited since October 2016, is a hybrid building made of concrete and timber: in the foreground you can see the striking concrete supports in front, which resemble logs, behind which stands the timber cube. This consists of timber-concrete hybrid ceilings, while the inner walls, including the supporting ones, are made of solid timber; the façade is made of untreated Emmentaler white fir. The building convinces the German trade journal because it is sensitively designed and is also inhabited by the tenants in the common outside spaces.

  • Wir setzen auf Holz

    We rely on timber

    bauRundschau 2/17 - In earlier centuries, timber as a building material was a matter of course in cities. In the 20th century, however, timber largely disappeared from urban space. In 1993, the first three-story timber buildings were still considered pioneering achievements. A lot has changed since then: Today, 100 meter high timber buildings are already being built in urban centers and timber is used in a wide variety of construction projects. The "bauRundschau" uses five groundbreaking projects to show just how diverse the building material timber is used today. Among other things, the trade magazine presents projects in which Timbatec was or still is significantly involved, including the "sue & til" residential development in Winterthur, the Arborea residential building in Köniz and a new viewing platform in Basel Zoo.

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Thun Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Niesenstrasse 1, 3600 Thun

Tel: +41 58 255 15 10

Zürich Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Ausstellungsstrasse 36, 8005 Zürich

Tel: +41 58 255 15 20

Delémont Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Avenue de la Gare 49, 2800 Delémont 

+41 58 255 15 40

Bern Branch

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers Switzerland Ltd.

Falkenplatz 1, 3012 Bern

Tel: +41 58 255 15 30


Headquarters Vienna (A) 

Timbatec Timber Construction Engineers GmbH
Im Werd 6/31a, 1020 Wien 
Tel: +43 720 2733 01


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