The four striking Hardau towers added welcome drama and urbanity to Zurich’s skyline, which in the 1970s was still largely untroubled by large-scale high-rise developments. Commissioned by the City of Zurich as an innovative way to provide affordable housing for the rapidly growing population of singles and the elderly, the development was designed by local architect Max B. Kollbrunner. In addition to the towers, which are all of slightly different heights, the complex also consists of several terraced blocks. In theory, you could spend your whole life here, with facilities ranging from a kindergarten, community rooms and a dance school to shops, a petrol station and a retirement home. Kollbrunner’s marriage of Manhattan and Swiss pragmatism is proof that urban brutalist estates can defy time and trends with true grit.