Construction Management: Schmid Architekten Baumanagement SIA
Clients: Canton Zurich Building Department, Canton Zurich Real Estate Department
Structural Engineers: Walt + Galmarini AG
From the architect.
Located in Canton Zurich, the Rhine Falls visitor center defines the entry to Laufen castle and the pathway leading to Europe’s largest waterfall. The program required integrating a souvenir shop, bistro, public toilet facilities and a multipurpose hall into an existing staff house.
The difficult task of transforming the nondescript house into a public building was achieved by extending the pitched roof and developing a new skin that wraps the entire structure. The new façade, made of weatherproof steel plates, forms a suit of armor that unifies the building into a primary form.
On the ground level, folded canopies reveal a second layer with entries, vitrines and a ticket counter. The perforated steel elements on the upper level filter sunlight into the multipurpose hall.