EM2N | Mathias Müller | Daniel Niggli
Architekten AG | ETH | SIA | BSA
Zurich / Switzerland, 2013
On the Toni Site a former milk–processing factory is to be transformed into a platform for education and culture. In 2013 the converted building will become a new home for Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and for two departments of Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). It will also include 90 apartments as well as private culture and event areas. In this project two exciting developments come together. On the one hand a new location will be created in Switzerland’s university landscape which has been reshaped in recent years. On the other a process of urban transformation is already taking place in this district that will change and shape the character of the entire city. Within this urban development the Toni Site represents a central building block. The task is to develop a concept for a built structure almost the size of an entire neighbourhood. The issue is the coexistence of very different functions within such a building and their impulses in urban space. We assume that this is primarily an urban planning and programmatic problem.
Our design proposes tackling this sizable project with a kind of inner urbanism. The existing system of ramps in the north is read as a vertical boulevard and reinterpreted as the main circulation. At the interface between the high–rise and low–rise development we position a large hall conceived as a public space. These two elements are linked to each other by a cascading sequence of halls and stairs. Inner addresses are created that locate individual functions like buildings in the city. At the same time the building becomes a component for urban planning in somewhat barren surroundings.
Finally, the unconventionally built outline conditions make this project into an architectural challenge. To create an open framework for activity for the campus users we work with different degrees of precision, scales and tonalities: at some places raw, at others refined, partly over–, partly under–defined, with a range extending from huge public spaces to intimate private ones. The building as city, the city as building.
Förrlibuckstrasse 109, CH–8005 Zurich
Type of Commission
Allreal Toni AG represented by Allreal Generalunternehmung AG
study commission: 2005, 1. prize
planning phase: 2005 – 2009
start of construction: 2008
Zurich Academy of the Arts
Zurich Academy of Applied Sciences
culture and event spaces
gross floor area: 108’000 m2
gross volume: 493’400 m3