Fragmented landscapes

students: Sofia Prifti, Jacqueline Frizi

The following project, deals with a hybrid landscape of fragmented rural and urban characteristics, in the Linthebene area, by the end of Zürichsee.

3 planets

The dominant infrastructural water network,  that divides the valley in two, as well as the parallel urban spines lacking perpendicular connections to the Linth canal, were perceived as the major problems in our design approach.

Important fragments along the Linth such as the several natural reserve areas, the renaturalization of the old Linth river and the untouched nature-”jungle” on  the waterfront were used as a starting point in our approach. In the same fragmented way our design intervention focuses on  three different points of the site.



Our main goal was to propose a new adaptive, according to its context,  system that would solve the specific problems of each area and would in a larger scale connect the existing cities through a new network of pathways to the “new Linth”, unifying the design.

Starting from Wallensee, the main approach was to regenerate and redesign the existing renaturalized area, in order to make it more accecible for the locals. Technically it would also function as a buffer zone in case of an extreme flooding scenario. Perpendicular pathways create possibilities for crossing over to the inbetween island.


diagrams all

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Moreover, in the Kaltbrunner Riet, which is artificially preserved as a natural reserve  area (at the lowest topographical height of the terrain), a system of polders is designed, collecting the waters of the valley and leading them to the side canal and eventually to Zürichsee, to replace the pumping. In addition to the polders, the redesign of the edges between the expanded canal and the terrain makes it possible for the rest of the existing drainage system, to function withought the pump, due to gravitation that makes it possible to flow directly into the new side canal.

Last, our main focus was to redesign the watermouth of the area, that was completely degraded and unused. It would function as an attractor for the whole area of the Linthebene, creating a strong connection between the city of Schmerikon and the expanded Linth, bringing the locals closer to the new recreational character of the water.  A parallel system of three worlds, starting from the city of Schmerikon, to the intermediate level of the cubic wetlands leading to the untouched, less accessible nature of the “jungle”, create a triptychon of  transition from the hard to the soft edge.

Major elements of the design approach was the new water system, that reverses the idea of the water as an infrastructural one and turns it into a recreational one. The vegetation types, create three microenvironmvents, the cubic wetlands with the “jungle”, the safe green area of the city as well as the vegetation of the polders. The already mentioned system of pathways for walking and biking, with their variations according to the spot on site, give new experiences to visitors.


Main strategies regarding the whole site in a large scale, was the managment of the water system. Through the expansion of the side canal and the Linth, together with the lowering of the inbetween dikes we managed to create different speeds and depths of water, change the perception of the water in the area  as an obstacle and make it an accecible recreational area. The infiltration of the sediments of the existing drainage systems cleans the water before it flows to the sidecanal from the mainland. The constrain of the flood zones by diging up these areas and creating higher dikes around them was also part of the water management plan, concluding in the watermouth redesign.

in the riet_Spring  in the riet_FALLdifferent seasonal representation

cubic_islandscubic wetlands

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