Architects to breathe new life into university district

Zurich – Architecture firms Herzog & de Meuron and Christ & Gantenbein have won with their architectural projects for Zurich’s central university district. These designs not only feature more space for education and research, but also create lively open areas with meeting places.

The university district that is home to the joint research and health cluster of the University of Zurich (UZH), the University Hospital of Zurich (USZ) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) is located in the heart of the city. The close proximity of the three institutions offers unique opportunities for close collaboration. However, the district infrastructure has reached its capacity limits and is therefore being expanded.

During a press conference on Tuesday, the Canton and the City of Zurich presented the two architectural projects of Christ & Gantenbein and Herzog & de Meuron together with the respective institutions for which they are intended. Basel architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron won the FORUM UZH project competition and will realise the new education and research centre for the University of Zurich. The firm created a trapezoidal building that is set back from the street, creating an additional central square. It will contain rooms for teaching, a large library and a canteen as well as sports and public facilities.

The USZ Kernareal study mandate was won by architect Christ & Gantenbein, which also has its offices in Basel. The first stage of the complete modernisation of the University Hospital consists of two buildings. According to an ETH press release, “these form a harmonious ensemble with the historic buildings”. The new hospital comprises patient rooms and lounges in the connecting bridges between the buildings, public gardens or cafés. “The ‘Spitalpark’ will be the green heart of the new university district,” it was reported.

From 8 January to 8 February 2019, an exhibition on the future university area with the two winning projects will take place in the Amtshaus IV of the City of Zurich.

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