HRS is putting all its expertise and experience into the project in pursuit of its high quality standards and customer satisfaction.
A focus on market needs
“The success factor in
real estate development lies in the
flexibility of the product.
That is why we attached great
importance on a flexible
mix of apartments.”
Head of Real Estate Development HRS
from Max Towers
Putting in the hours to build the towers
Just a year before it’s time to move in, project manager and early riser Marco Harr takes a look at next steps and milestones in building Max Towers. Every morning, Marco Harr is at the Max Towers building site by 6:30 am at the latest. In his role as project manager, the Liestal native is in charge of structural building work, the building envelope and building services for both towers, in addition to landscaping the surrounding area. Before we spoke late on Monday morning, he had already had plenty of opportunity to see that everything was running smoothly on his site. Marco Harr, congratulations – you’ve just been promoted from construction manager to project manager after just over five years in the job. How many sites have you worked on now? Thank you. Max Towers, or the Aere residential development, is my tenth site as a construction manager and my first as a project manager. Let’s take a look at your current site. Give us an idea of how things at Max Towers are coming back to life after the holidays. Things are moving at a somewhat leisurely pace: two trades started in the first week of January, the electricians and a kitchen fitter. Now, at the start of week two, there’s a bit more going on again. Reasonable temperatures permitting, I’m expecting the whole team back from the beginning of February. That’s usually the case but, at the moment, structural building work is limited by the winter temperatures. Work can mainly take place on vertical surfaces such as walls. The horizontal ceiling surfaces are frozen and covered in snow. Of course, by its very nature, a building site in the middle of winter has different dynamics than in summer. And other challenges, too. True. For instance, in winter, it’s simply the case that not every job can be done safely and securely. The season needs to be taken into consideration for building materials, too. Certain materials can’t be used for building in sub-zero temperatures due to quality-related considerations. Other tasks just don’t make sense to do when the weather makes things too tricky or labour-intensive. I’m always looking for a healthy sense of proportion. Our conversation is taking place in early January. What are the next steps at present? What exactly is yet to happen this month? We’ll complete the last two floors with the lightweight façade on Tower 3 and seal the building envelope by fitting the windows on the last two levels. The elements for the pergola will also be installed on the top floor of Tower 3. The three kilometres of outdoor railings for the Max Towers will also soon go into production. Then, as part of the interior design, the apartment structure will be created when the plasterers put up the dry walls, thus defining the individual rooms and spaces. At the same time, we’ll be working on the building services – specifically, installing the risers for water and electricity. And which milestone will you achieve by the time the kingfishers begin to breed by the building site on the Birs? In late May, early June, we’ll take down the scaffolding on Tower 2. We’ll do the same again for Tower 3 four or five weeks later – we’ve handled pretty much all the work so far at this pace. We’ll then start work on landscaping the surrounding area. The access routes are created in advance to prepare for the planned move-in schedule. ‘Every day counts. But we will complete this project on schedule and with the right level of quality.’ That’s a good rule of thumb. Initial building work on this site began in September 2022, and the owners will have completed their move in a year. What have been your biggest challenges so far? First and foremost, completing both Max Towers with the building envelope. Ensuring both buildings are leakproof, for instance, by checking this through flooding the roofs over 10 days each. After the building envelope has been successfully approved, the façade scaffolding will be dismantled so that the recessed façade can be installed on the ground floor. Completing the façade is the starting point for working on the access routes and landscaping. At the same time, the building services specialists are working flat out on installation and fitting. The technical centres and installation of all required components, such as in the escape stairwells, must be completed for integral tests to take place in summer 2024. Passing the integral tests is key to obtaining building approval at the subsequent official inspection. Are you on schedule for this? We’re currently on course. There are still many milestones to reach. Stress and working at pace are the norm day-to-day. But that’s a good thing. It would be wrong to get complacent about our current progress. Of course, we can be proud of what we’ve done so far, no question. That’ll be two monumental buildings on the former Stöcklin site. But every day counts and we give our very best on the site. I firmly believe that we’ll successfully complete this project with our stakeholders in terms of scheduling and the level of quality sought. At which point does the weight lift from your shoulders, as they say? When do you know the project is successfully complete? When the last invoice is paid, basically. From a construction perspective, in my four areas of responsibility – structural building work, building envelope, building services and landscaping – there are four consecutive milestones. First: when all the shell structures have been completed, or when we hand over all the preparatory bases for further work. Second: when the buildings are leakproof and the building envelopes are ready. Third: when the official inspection I mentioned before is completed with positive feedback, i.e. the building is approved. And fourth: when all access routes in the surrounding area are ready for imminent use, so future residents can move into their new homes. That’s when I can feel a sense of relief and my colleague Hasan Shehu can add the finishing touches to the building interior. Let’s come back to your career. What does site number 10 mean to you personally? What is the significance of the Max Towers project? Max Towers is particularly special to me. As a plasterer and bricklayer by trade, I’m particularly pleased with the method of construction. Solid construction, artificial stone elements and lightweight façades are among my practical skills, so it isn’t hard for me to approach this project with passion every single day. This building method is also challenging, with many trades having to line up, and the fast pace of construction. We are also handling two more sub-projects, which are a challenge in their own right, and all this interplay at the heart of the hub on the former Stöcklin site makes this project even more important. As a team, we can do great things together and leave behind a piece of built history in the shape of the mighty Max Towers. Do you already know what project awaits you when Max Towers are complete? As we’ve mentioned, I’ve just taken on a new role. So the next steps remain to be seen. As they put it so well in the world of sport: ‘I’ll play where the coach puts me.’ Marco Harr, Project Manager at HRS Real Estate AG His working days begin at 2:45 am, so that he can spend an hour and a half on strength and fitness training before arriving at the building site at 6:00 am, or 6:30 am at the latest. ‘For balance and motivation,’ he laughs. His family await him at the end of the day: ‘The best antidote to work is my four-year-old daughter.’
Swiss Heritage Society awards Aesch, Reinach and neighbouring communities the Wakker Prize
A huge honour for Birsstadt, home to both Max Towers: the Swiss Heritage Society is awarding it the 2024 Wakker Prize. The prestigious prize is given for exemplary services to the built environment and residential development. For Birsstadt, which includes ten municipalities, the Conference of Presidents of the Swiss Heritage Department gives three specific aspects to justify the award: appreciating the natural environment and habitat by the Birs, carefully developing the important industrial sites, and securing and reinforcing the rich architectural heritage. As the Aere residential development is being built on an industrial site – the Stöcklin site, where conveyor and storage technology systems were manufactured from 1946 to 2020 – it is located in the heart of an illustrious landscape in every sense of the word. High-quality, architecturally and conceptually impressive buildings and an attitude to sustainability that is exemplary in three respects (landscape concept, mobility concept, energy-efficient living with renewable energy) shape the Aere residential development and give rise to this national award. Secure one of the final properties here and book a consultation at our showroom in Aesch online today to find out more about the magic of Max Towers. We’re happy to offer extensive help and advice. PS: The official Wakker Prize award ceremony will take place on Saturday 22 June 2024 on Domplatz in Arlesheim. Current and future Birsstadt residents are invited to celebrate this happy occasion with a programme of entertainment.
Open Days – Wednesday, November, 15th and Saturday, November, 25th 2023 in our showroom in Aesch
With personal consultation provided by BLKB's customer advisors around the topic of home financing. Information & Registration Every Wednesday from 1.00 – 3.00 p.m. visit us without prior notice in the showroom in Aesch. Would you like an individual appointment? Then book your individual consultation here. Make an appointment
‘Concrete completed’ – progress report on Max Towers
A full update on Max Towers with architect Giulietta Hidalgo. The planning stage for the two Max Towers – Tower 2 and 3 – on the new Aere site began five and a half years ago. This was preceded, as usual, by a competition to find the architecture firm for the project. Max Dudler’s team was selected and Giulietta Hidalgo took the lead. The two towers will always have a special place in this architect’s portfolio. Giulietta spoke to us on the phone as she was driving to the Max Towers building site on a rainy autumn morning. ‘It’s incredible how many people I’ve met,’ says Giulietta Hidalgo with a smile as she thinks about her project set against the backdrop of Basel. The Max Towers were developed with the HRS team in Zurich, which is also where Giulietta’s office is located. The HRS Basel branch is involved with carrying out the construction phase. ‘We’ve all had a busy time, but this intense period has brought us closer together,’ says the architect, reflecting on the project up to this point at least a year before the property’s move-in date. At the time of this interview – early November 2023 – the shell for Tower 2 is finished. ‘Concrete completed,’ laughs Giulietta. The shell for Tower 3 is coming along, with 11 out of 13 floors done. Work on the building envelope is happening at the same time – and that includes the windows. The plasterers are currently hard at work on the inside, having already reached the sixth floor in Tower 2. They’re now about to make a start in Tower 3 too. ‘I’m really pleased with the progress – things are moving along nicely and quickly,’ says the architect in charge. She’s on her way to the building site as we speak to discuss the three kilometres of outside railings. And there’s still a question outstanding as far as the building envelope is concerned. With 1,900 tonnes of artificial stone elements being used, Giulietta and HRS Project Manager Marco Harr are finally going to make a decision on sanding the joints between them. The next step will be agreeing on the scope of carpentry and painting work. ‘I love the construction phase – buildings are born and become real at last.’ ‘I always look forward to visiting the building site,’ says Giulietta. ‘Even the smallest steps motivate me – deciding on the details and watching them come to life.’ That sounds exciting. ‘Yes, this is a brilliant phase. The work with the contractors and site managers is going well, spirits are high across the team and everyone is highly motivated.’ This is one happy architect. She laughs: ‘Absolutely. Of course, there are always ups and downs with projects like this. There are phases I enjoy more and others I’m not so keen on. But I have to say that I always love the construction phase – this is when buildings are born and become real at last. It’s actually a bit like a baby being born. It could even be a metaphor for life itself. To start with, you do a lot of thinking and planning. And then something blossoms right in front of you. You watch it grow and develop, nurturing it along the way.’ But things can’t always go smoothly, right? ‘Of course not. We always try to find the best solution on the building site with the help of the experts. All we can do is make the best of any situation we find ourselves facing.’ You speak with such passion. Is that always the case with all your projects? Or is a project like Max Towers extra-special in your career as an architect? ‘It is,’ she says, laughing again as she answers this question. ‘These towers are extremely important to me. I’ve been involved in the project since the very beginning. Having put a lot of time and effort into it over the past six years, it does have a special place in my heart.’ There’s a short pause. ‘In fact, this could be the most important project in the whole of my career so far.’ And now a longer pause. We won’t end the interview on such a deeply inward note. We still have to discuss the challenging but relevant question of what it’s like to be a woman in what is seen to be a male-dominated field. ‘I’m seeing two shifts here,’ says Giulietta, taking a deep breath. ‘Luckily, we’re seeing the number of women working on the planning side increasing steadily. At Max Dudler, almost 60% of our workforce is female at the moment. Interestingly enough, we’ve ended up with a fully female team working on the construction phase of this project. When it comes to the on-site work in the construction business, though, there’s no denying that we’re working in a male-dominated industry. I don’t come across blatant criticism very often at all anymore. It’s more a case of fighting the underlying scepticism. I pretty much always manage to do that by positioning myself as an expert and proving that I’m more than capable of doing the job I’m there to do. This sometimes means that things take longer than they would otherwise – but I always get us where we need to be.’ With Giulietta in charge, we have no doubt that the Max Towers project will continue to go from strength to strength. Giulietta Hidalgo Architect MSc ETSAB | AAM at Max Dudler in Zurich Born in Valencia, Giulietta Hidalgo was a pianist before studying to become an architect in Barcelona and Mendrisio. Having worked at Max Dudler since 2016, she joined the extended management team there this year. She is heading up the Max Towers project, which she refers to as ‘the twins’ She uses her daily commute from her home to the office – a 50-minute walk each way – to switch off from work and bring balance to her day.
Springtime at the construction site – 'We are on track.'
Interview with Erkan Ates, manager of the Basel branch and overall project manager of the Aere housing estate at HRS Real Estate AG Springtime at the construction site As a project developer, participating investor and full-service general contractor, HRS Real Estate AG is the initiator of the conversion and development of the former industrial Stöcklin site into the new Aere housing estate. HRS is also directly involved with the residential construction elements of the project, in the form of the two Max Towers, also known as Towers 2 and 3. Overall project manager Erkan Ates gives us an update on progress on the two exclusive residential towers that are such a defining feature of the development. Mr Ates, as the person in charge of a construction site where eight buildings with a gross floor area of 56,800 m2 are being built, how are you finding it all? It’s going well, thanks. Seeing the steady progress on this large construction site is a pleasure. It’s wonderful to watch the three building contractors (Turidomus Investment Foundation, UBS Fund Management (Switzerland) AG and HRS Investment AG) and four architectural offices, all with their own style, going about their work. Construction work on the site began at the end of September 2022. How will things be looking by the end of May 2023? If you believe outsiders, it’s ‘madness’. At least that’s how private and commercial passers-by describe the dynamic change they see. Five cranes now tower over the site and about 120 construction workers and tradespeople are here every day. Of the eight planned buildings, five are already under construction. Work is most advanced at Tower 1, in the north-east corner of the site, where rental apartments are taking shape. Next to it are the two Max Towers – one with a square floorplan and the other rectangular. These will have condominiums. Two cranes and half of the construction crew are working on the Max Towers, and the remainder across the rest of the site. Are you satisfied with the pace of the work and current progress? Generally speaking, yes – we are on track. The lower floors of the Max Towers are now plainly visible. Tower 2 is already up to the seventh floor, while the second floor of Tower 3 has just been concreted and lined. ‘Generally speaking’ is not the same as ‘completely’, is it? Have you had any hold-ups? Yes, but luckily they have been only minor. We had heavy rain this spring, which slowed us down a bit. We also had to remove geogenic contamination from the site, which delayed and prolonged the excavation phase. However, we managed to find good solutions by collaborating effectively with the authorities and the companies involved in the excavation work, and the decontamination is now almost complete. In conjunction with the building site management team, the shell construction processes were adapted, so much of the delay caused by cleaning up the contaminated areas was offset by a significant increase in efficiency. In contrast, the boreholes for the geothermal supply were executed right on schedule and work will soon start with Primeo in order to install the transformer stations by the end of the year. Have you been affected by the oft-cited shortages of skilled and manual workers and delivery bottlenecks. No, at least not directly. The project has required a lot of steel and concrete, both of which were available in the quantity and quality we needed. But now come electronics, which as is well known were in short supply last year. But the forecast is looking good for our timeframe. However, getting quotes for work that we need to place with contractors has been a real challenge. Many companies are asking for a delay of several weeks. Let’s get back to the Max Towers. They are planned to have 13 storeys. Yes. We should be at that point by August. Then we will start installation of the floor-to-ceiling windows. By December, we will have closed the building shell and be able to make a start on the interior work. With the installation of the windows, we will also put in a sealing layer on the sixth floor, which will allow us to push ahead with the finishing work, including installation of the building services, on the lower floors while the shell construction continues above. That will bring significantly more people to the construction site. What comes next? Tenders for the interior fittings are expected to be finalised by the end of the year, at which point the rest of the schedule can be refined. When do you expect that people will be able to move into the Max Towers? Based on current planning, we are aiming for the end of 2024. Let’s touch briefly on the other residential buildings – what are the dates there? Tower 1 is also planned to be ready for occupation by the end of next year. The phased move-in for the remaining buildings is planned from autumn 2025. Erkan Ates Manager of the Basel branch and overall project manager of the Aere housing estate at HRS Real Estate AG A civil engineer by training, he has worked in the profession for 25 years. He used to keep fit by playing football, but now you can find him in the gym every day before work. He also goes skiing for the sake of his two teenage sons, but finds days in his ski boots ‘a torment’.
Every Wednesday – Open days!
Visit us without prior notice in the showroom in Aesch and discover your dream home in the Max Towers! When: Every Wednesday, 1.00 – 3.00 p.m. Where: Dornacherstrasse 199, 4147 Aesch (BL) Would you like an individual appointment? Then book your individual consultation here. We are looking forward to meeting you!
With a beautiful sunset in the back, the first contours of the Aere housing estate in Aesch can be seen. The first two floors of Tower 1, with its rental flats, are already rising into the sky. Right next to it, the condominiums of the Max Towers are also growing to the surface. In Tower 3, the construction of the basement has just been completed and in Tower 2 the first signs of its future height are already visible. Around 65% of the apartments have already been notarized. Find your dream home in the Max Towers and arrange your consultation appointment in our showroom. We are looking forward to your visit.
Pleasure at the highest level
In the first week of December 2022, the happy buyers of the Max Towers toasted together to their future condominiums and to a great neighborhood. With a blissfull apéro-riche and a festive get-together per tower, HRS Real Estate AG - also on behalf of Intercity Marketing AG - thanked all buyers. Would you also like to become part of the Max Towers neighborhood? Then book a consultation in the showroom today and find your maximum living oasis.
Laying of the foundation stone for Aere
On September 21, 2022, the foundation stone for the residential development Aere was laid in bright sunshine in the Max Towers showroom. A time capsule was placed in the floor slab of the west parking lot directly in front of Max Tower 3. The mayor of Aesch BL, Eveline Sprecher, and the mayor of Reinach, Melchior Buchs, delivered greetings from the responsible municipal authorities. On the part of the builders, HRS Real Estate AG, Senevita Foundation and Turidomus Investment Foundation thanked for the pleasant cooperation.
Happy buyer - first notarization in the Max Tower project
Since August 22, 2022, notarization of purchase contracts has been taking place daily in the Kellerhals Carrard notary’s office in Binningen. The satisfied buyers are thus a significant step closer to their dream apartment in one of the Max Towers! The construction work is in full swing and occupancy is planned upon summer 2024. Congratulations to all buyers on this milestone!
Portiunkula Market - we are open as follows
The time has come, the "Portiunggeli" Market in Dornach is just around the corner and we are right in the middle of it. Come by the Max Towers Showroom and get information first hand about this unique project and its materials - we look forward to seeing you! Friday August 12, 2022 16.00-18.30 hrs Saturday August 13, 2022 10.00-15.00 hrs
The municipalities of Reinach & Aesch issue the building permit
Another milestone for the Aere housing estate has been reached. On February 4, 2022, the municipalities of Reinach & Aesch grant approval for the building application for the entire Aere residential development. Thus, there is no longer any obstacle to the start of construction of the exclusive Max Towers condominiums. The demolition of the existing buildings has already begun, and excavation will start in April. Completion in stages is expected from summer 2024. We look forward to the Max Towers new construction project and will be happy to continue advising you on your journey to your new home. Book your personal appointment with us in the showroom.
Winners of the Läckerli-Max Decorating Competition
As part of the showroom opening, a Läckerli-Max was sent out with the personal invitations with the option to decorate. Many thanks for the creative and inspiring letters! From the numerous emailed photos of originally drawn or decorated Läckerlis-Grätimänner, an expert jury of children selected not just one, but three winners in a head-to-head race. The mömax vouchers and a colouring book are on their way by post. Congratulations and a Happy Holidays to all of you!
Showroom Opening - visit us!
From Thanksgiving on November 25, 2021 the Max Towers showroom in Aesch - right next to the roundabout to Dornach - has been opened with 30 individual consultations by prior reservation in the first two weeks. We are also happy to be there for you - book your personal appointment and visit us!
Behind the Scene
Have a look behind the scenes at the making of the Max Towers film.
Financing your home
There are a range of options for financing the purchase of a home. We are standing by to assist you during the vital phases of your decision. You will also receive competent advice through our financing partners while acquiring your dream home.
Building permit application submitted
The planning permit application for Max Towers on a former Stöcklin site in Aesch and Reinach was submitted in December 2020. The site’s new name is now the Aere Residential Community, a combination of the names of the two neighboring towns. https://hrs.ch/medien/baugesuch-fuer-wohnsiedlung-aere-ehemals-stoecklin-areal-eingereicht
Marketing kick-off – VIP phase begins
Max Towers is online! With preregistration, interested parties will receive more information on this exciting project in the Aere Residential Community now, even before the official market launch, and can secure their new home today. Available units