Gross floor area: 38.650m2
Client: City of Zurich, Allreal West AG, Martin Seiz, W. Schmid + Co AG
Landscape architects: Müller Illien, Zurich
First Prize, 'Gestaltungsplan' 2008
In collaboration with office haratori
Baufeld H is one of the last links in the development of Escher-Wyss, a former industrial area on the west side of Zürich that is being transformed into an urban environment with housing, workplaces and services. The urban design plan takes the existing morphology of the area as the departure point for a programmatic and spatial densification in which the existing and complex property boundaries are respected. The plan is characterized by contrasting, yet ambiguously defined urban spaces. The proposed building envelope consists of a 2 to 4 storey plinth with a recessed construction of up to seven storeys above that. In height, this plinth ties in with the industrial hangers that are to be preserved, such as the adjacent Schiffbauhalle, which houses a new theater and restaurant. Also taken into account in the plan is the preservation of existing buildings, in particular the Aeschbacher building. The building plays a key role in the area’s cultural identity. The provisional character of its present use (bar and TV studio) is strategically employed to bring life into this area and postpone a final programmatic definition of the zone.