Sites & Situations


CHAMA Site: Where the future comes to life

Published: 23. April 2024

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CHAMA offers a wide range of rental and owner-occupied flats as well as commercial space. But the site also offers much more than that. Innovative ideas and concepts are turning the small new neighbourhood in Cham into a sustainable place to live, work and meet, surrounded by greenery. A tour reveals how CHAMA combines HIAG’s wide range of services and expertise in one place.

If you get off the bus at the Lorzenpark stop, just a few minutes’ drive from Cham railway station, you will find yourself in a lively little neighbourhood. The CHAMA residential and work location realised by HIAG is still under construction. Once the first phase of construction has been completed in June 2024, the second, final construction phase will start the following autumn. CHAMA will be fully completed in 2026, but already promises a high quality of life for people who want to live and work in a family-friendly environment, with excellent infrastructure and in close proximity to the city and the countryside.

Contemporary living in a prime location
On a sunny winter morning, we met project developer Dominik Lauper for a tour of the site. Since construction started in March 2022, five buildings with 140 rental and owner-occupied flats as well as around 3,000 m2 of service and commercial space have been built as part of the first stage. And that’s not all. “The new development also features a community app, a sustainable mobility concept and a pioneering energy concept,” Dominik explained enthusiastically. He pointed to the neighbouring construction site. Six more buildings with residential and commercial space will be erected here in the second phase of construction, making the site even more vibrant.

A stone’s throw from the River Lorze, the entire site blends perfectly into the idyllic surroundings. We quickly realised that CHAMA offers a high quality of life thanks to its close proximity to local recreational areas. The Lorze invites you to walk, jog, swim or cycle, and not just during your lunch break. And families probably appreciate the playground and the park with a lovely fire pit right on their doorstep. In the neighbouring Lorzenpark building, the international school and a daycare centre provide them with high-quality education and childcare facilities. The centre of Cham, Lake Zug, a wide range of shopping facilities and the A4 motorway are just a few minutes away, and the communal authority is planning to build a new school building on the adjacent plot. Cham is generally regarded as one of the most attractive residential communities in Switzerland, and is one of the most popular communities in the canton of Zug. This is not only because of the low taxes. The municipality also attaches great importance to a balanced concept of living, working, education and leisure. Located on the shore of Lake Zug, Cham offers excellent connections to Zug, Lucerne and Zurich. Last but not least, the commune has been awarded the “Energy City GOLD” label, and is committed to sustainable development.

Community spirit thanks to meeting zones
But back to Dominik Lauper. “The entire site celebrates the idea of living in green spaces,” he explained as we let our eyes wander. The four buildings ANKER, COOK, DA GAMA and COLUMBUS are grouped around a spacious rectangular courtyard, which the many balconies also face. Here we saw extensive green spaces with play areas, benches and pathways that turn the courtyard into a meeting zone with a high quality of life. In general, we noticed that the sophisticated spatial concepts and the carefully designed recreational facilities around the various living and working areas ensure a colourful mix and create a sense of community. We started our tour at the central DOCK building, which is also a mobility centre. It not only provides shared access to the underground car parks of the surrounding buildings, but also houses a sharing service with e-bikes and cargo bikes. A smart parcel station, where parcels can be stored securely, is also available here.

“Residential and commercial space will be created here in the middle of a green oasis." Dominik Lauper, Project Developer

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Dagama Cook 4808 AP02 V01
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Dynamic neighbourhood with urban flair
We walk on to a square that connects the DOCK with the ANKER building and brings urban flair to the neighbour-hood. In the future, people will meet here to chat, have a coffee or go shopping. A restaurant and an organic food shop are soon to move into the ground floor. “This gives the CHAMA community a high-quality catering and shopping option right on site,” Dominik said. The co-living provider Ariv will open its flats on the upper floors of the ANKER building in May 2024. The company rents out fully furnished residential units, which are complemented by a communal area and leisure facilities. The main target groups are companies and private individuals who are looking for accommodation for a limited period of time, and will thus further revitalise the site. To the north of this is the COOK building, where we also find commercial premises on the ground floor in the basic fit-out. The large and bright rooms on the ground floor of the COOK building are also ideal for a daycare centre. Dominik Lauper explained that this would meet the needs of future residents. The good news: “We are already in talks with potential daycare centre operators.”

Living space for a wide range of living concepts
The total of 87 rental flats in CHAMA are located in the COOK and DA GAMA building units. As the tour showed, HIAG has prioritised diversity. The 50 units in the COOK building are dedicated to intergenerational living, while half of the flats fulfil the criteria for affordable housing in accordance with the Housing Promotion Act and have between 2.5 and 6.5 rooms. As a site developer, HIAG supports social mixing and therefore assumes responsibility when it comes to the provision of housing. Right next door, 37 further rental flats provide a home for any lifestyle. A special highlight presents itself up on the roof of the building: a shared roof terrace with barbecue area invites residents to enjoy a cosy get-together on beautiful summer evenings. It was important for HIAG to cover a wide range of needs with its residential offering. Dominik Lauper is delighted that the concept has worked: “All of the flats were let within a few weeks of the start of marketing in November 2023.” At the end of our tour we reached the COLUMBUS residential building, which completes the ensemble. It offers 52 premium condominiums with between 2.5 and 5.5 rooms, which are designed as garden, storey, duplex and penthouse flats. They also seem to have struck a chord with the times. By the end of 2023, 72% of the flats had already been sold.

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Gewerbe 4808 01 IP Kita V01
Gewerbe 4808 01 Pano01 Still1 V01 GP
Gewerbe 4808 01 IP Kita V01

Energy sustainability is a must
From one of the spacious COLUMBUS balconies, we had a view of the entire site. Thanks to locally produced electricity, geothermal probes and district heating, CHAMA will be a sustainably supplied living space. CHAMA is connected to the Ennetsee district heating network and utilises carbon-neutral waste heat from the incineration of waste, which is transported to the site via district heating pipes.
Some of the electricity required is produced on site. This is thanks to the approximately 800 m2 of solar panels on the roofs of the first construction phase. Part of the electricity required by CHAMA’s users and tenants is therefore covered cost-effectively using locally generated electricity. If not enough electricity is produced locally, Swiss electricity from renewable sources is supplied. But what we are not yet able to see is that in addition to solar panels, the roofs of the CHAMA buildings will also feature extensive greenery. This promotes biodiversity, improves the microclimate, reduces air pollutants and minimises noise emissions.

Flexible mobility with an e-sharing fleet
We returned to where we started. At the DOCK, Dominik Lauper explained the concept of the mobility point. “The CHAMA community benefits from flexible mobility facilities. AMAG allride offers residents and businesses a wide range of sharing options here.” In other words: an electrically powered fleet of vehicles that can be booked around the clock using the specially developed CHAMA app. You only pay for the time you use, and there are no subscription fees. The car-sharing fleet consists of electric cars, which are parked in the outdoor spaces next to the entrance to the underground car park, while e-bikes and e-cargo bikes are parked at the DOCK building.
CHAMA residents also have the option of renting parking spaces for cars and motorbikes in the underground car park and, if desired, ordering an e-charging station for their own parking space. Bicycles can be parked free of charge in long-term parking spaces in bike rooms, or in short-term parking spaces in public outdoor areas. And speaking of bicycles: next to the bicycle pavilion in the courtyard there is a well-equipped open bicycle workshop where private bicycles can be serviced. Electric vehicles can be connected to a modern charging infrastructure both in the underground car park and in some outdoor parking spaces.

“The new development also features a community app, a sustainable mobility concept and a pioneering energy concept.” Dominik Lauper, Project Developer

An app for the community
Anyone who lives in CHAMA or rents a commercial space also benefits from the community app, which Dominik Lauper went into raptures at the mention of. “It is very versatile: users can report their concerns to the property administration around the clock, contact their neighbours via the notice board, use the marketplace and the lending exchange or simply read the building rules, view their rental agreement or study the waste plan. You can also hire rooms or cars, book washing machines, and much more.” Last but not least, the CHAMA app also promotes a sense of community. Anyone who has found a key, is looking for a babysitter, is missing their cat or wants to share their home-made biscuits, for example, can easily contact the neighbourhood via the app.

The starting signal is given for the second phase of construction
So what happens now? According to the project developer, the next steps are mapped out. The owner-occupied and rental flats will be occupied in stages in spring 2024, and the landscaping and planting work will also be completed by then. The service and commercial spaces are constantly being let. And before the second construction phase starts in autumn 2024, there will be a celebration after the summer holidays. The first stage of construction will be inaugurated with a festival. This will be a great first opportunity for the community to get to know each other. CHAMA will be fully operational by 2026, bringing benefits not only for the community, but for the whole of Cham.

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