In the summer of 2019, the FARO Foundation will move into the new “Spitzmatt residence” for people with disabilities. The approximately 6’500 m2 of existing floor space formerly occupied by the Swiss Army Recruitment Centre will be adapted with minor modifications to meet the new requirements. The outward appearance of the property will be only slightly altered. In addition to painting the façade, the two existing elevators will be encased and additional washrooms will be added inside the living areas. A specially designed colour concept will also help orient visitors and make the building feel more like home.
“About 50 people will call the former recruitment centre their new home, and the FARO Foundation’s employees will have a new place to work,” says FARO co-director Rosey Schär. “Since we have to leave our current premises at the Königsfelden site due to building projects at the Aargau psychiatric clinic (PDAG), we have found an ideal location at the Kunzareal site.”
HIAG’s site developer Alex Römer considers the FARO Foundation an ideal partner: “The new residents will benefit from the wide range of activities at the Kunzareal site and the proximity to further facilities, just as they themselves will create attractive added value for the quarter by opening up the gymnasium and the Spitzmatt restaurant to a wider public.”
In recent years, a diverse and lively quarter has sprung up at the Kunzareal site in Windisch, a place where people can live and work in an idyllic environment with room for innovative business models. Residents, young entrepreneurs, traditional firms and now also the FARO Foundation benefit from shared infrastructure and good neighbourly relations within the quarter.
Five questions for Dani Hohler,
co-director of the FARO Foundation
How will the FARO Foundation fit into the Kunzareal site?
The FARO Foundation sees the Spitzmatt residence as an integral part of the Kunzareal site and seeks to actively participate in community life. We want to offer attractive added value by expanding the use of the gymnasium and opening up the Spitzmatt residence restaurant. The restaurant will serve mainly as an eatery for Spitzmatt residents, but we will also take the requests and wishes of employees from Kunzareal’s various companies and the quarter’s population into account and complete our offer accordingly.
What has been your experience of the collaboration with with HIAG?
From the beginning, our cooperation with HIAG’s representatives has been based on a constructive working partnership. There is open communication, and even when facing major challenges, which arise again and again during this kind of transformation process, shared and uncomplicated solutions can be found that take the concerns of all parties involved into account.
How has your collaboration with the municipality of Windisch gone?
The municipality of Windisch follows our project with great interest and goodwill. Windisch mayor Heidi Ammon has repeatedly and publicly reacted very positively to our project, especially concerning the planned use of the gymnasium. The “gemeinsam aktiv” (“active together”) programme encourages exchanges between people with and without disabilities. In the second half of 2019, we will offer two types of sports as part of this programme: aikido in collaboration with the Brugg Aikido Club, and sport climbing in cooperation with the SAC’s Brugg section. Both options are a part of the annual programme of the Brugg region’s disabled sports association.
What are the advantages /possibilities of the Spitzmatt residence?
The proximity with the municipality enables our residents to actively participate in social life. We are very invested in supporting them, so that this cohabitation leads to a rewarding experience for all involved.
What are you hoping for at the new FARO Foundation location at the Kunzareal site?
Our goal is for our residents to have a close-knit relationship with the community within a structure that covers their needs. The new location at the leased HIAG property will make this possible. We are looking forward to moving into the Spitzmatt residence this summer.