Source : afasia
Photography by Helène Binet, Georg Aerni and Kuster Frey
This project won first prize in the invited competition for a 30,000sq m mixed use building of commercial space and housing. The project is located on a key site within the masterplan for the redevelopment of former railway land on the south side of Zurich Hauptbahnhof by the SBB (Swiss National Railways). The project is one of several large new buildings to be constructed along the planned Europaallee, a street running through the centre of the masterplan leading southwest from the main station.
The unusual mixed programme for the site comprises retail space on the ground floor with offices and apartments above, and is an opportunity to make a truly metropolitan building at a prominent corner location within the masterplan. The building is arranged with five floors of commercial space on the lower levels, with the upper part emerging as two apartment towers 13 and 11 stories in height. The complex figure has something of the qualities of the classic urban buildings of Manhattan from the 1910s and 20s. Like the New York examples, this individual expressiveness is reconciled with the continuity that is required, in the massing of the lower floors and in the tectonic of the pre-cast concrete facades, to make a good piece of city.