Birkahus is a place for people with special needs. It was designed to on one hand fit into the ensemble of existing buildings, and on the other hand to provide a diverse and comfortable environment for its inhabitants.
The three floors are conceived as tiny villages for their inhabitants. Every inhabitant has his own "apartment" with a balcony, bathroom and sleeping area. In front of each apartment, there is a letterbox and a small entrance with a light.
They are connected with one another as well as to other programs such as offices, kitchen, dining room and living room through an interior "street". The apartments are characterized by a distinct color that is both visible from the outside street as well as from the inside street.
Structurally, the building is modular. Each function is housed in a different wooden box, which were stacked on top of each other in the building process. Only the stairway is built from concrete and serves as connection to the existing buildings on the campus.
Birkahus is part of a larger complex. Originally built as a farm on the edge of the village, it now consists of multiple programs for people with special need who work and in some instances live there. There is a shop in which vegetablables and seedlings are sold, a pond for recreation and a café for the staff.
Hansjörg Hilti and Luis Hilti have been developing the farm in terms of the buildings and landscape surrounding it into both a good environment for inhabitants and staff, as well as part of the village Mauren, with the shop as an interface and meeting point between Birkahof and the villagers.