The proposal for a new major building for the University of Zurich's City Campus designed by Herzog & de Meuron, in collaboration with b+p baurealisation, has been selected for realization.
The new FORUM UZH will provide the university with ample space for education and research functions as well as upgrade outdated technology infrastructure and increase efficiency of operation. The building will include a large library, lecture halls, seminar rooms, sports facilities, public spaces and a cafeteria for a total of 6,500 students and 1,100 university employees.
"The new building designed by Herzog & de Meuron is inspired by the surrounding University and ETH buildings, which are set back from the street, use below-ground plinths and terraces to take into account the topography along Rämistrasse, and are characterized by spacious central halls," explains the project description.
"The FORUM UZH’s plinth will be built into the slope with terraces, creating plateaus that connect the building’s interior with its exterior and serve as spaces where students, researchers and the public can interact. The plinth will primarily be used for teaching. It includes nine lecture halls with a total of 4,000 seats, seminar rooms for a variety of teaching formats, a café, shops as well as five gymnasiums and other sports facilities for students, high-school students and people living in the neighborhood."
"A stand-alone building for research will 'hover' above the plinth. The trapezoid structure will primarily house offices and seminar rooms as well as a library featuring a two-story reading room and a space for learning that looks out onto the main building of UZH. The new structure is set back from the street far enough to allow for a central plaza in the heart of the university district."
"Only by placing many of the uses in an elevated building were we able to bring daylight into the terraced plinth and make room for the public space that we were aiming for," said Herzog & de Meuron about their concept. "The inviting atmosphere and the numerous trees will make the large plaza in front of the new building and also the Forum itself a new focal point of university and urban life."
All submissions to the FORUM UZH international architectural competition are currently on public display until January 24 noon in the Lichthof of UZH’s main building.
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