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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Theater
  4. Switzerland
  5. EM2N
  6. 2006
  7. Theater 11 / EM2N

Theater 11 / EM2N

  • 01:00 - 22 March, 2010
Theater 11 / EM2N
Theater 11 / EM2N, © Hannes Henz
© Hannes Henz

© Hannes Henz © Hannes Henz © Hannes Henz © Roger Frei +12

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Architects

  • Project Leaders

    Christof Zollinger, Verena Lindenmayer
  • Project Team

    Dirk Harmdorf, Elke Kirst, Sidsel Kromann, Verena Lindenmayer, Claudia Meier, Mathias Müller, Verena Nelles, Daniel Niggli, Claudia Peter, Frank Schneider, Christof Zollinger
  • Structural Engineering

    Aerni + Aerni
  • Mechanical Engineering

    3-Plan Haustechnik
  • Lighting & Stage Engineering

    Nüssli AG
  • Client

    MCH Messe Schweiz (Zürich) AG
  • Construction Management AG
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

From the architect. In the near future we will increasingly be confronted with the problem of building fabric from the 1960s and 1970s that no longer satisfies present-day functional and technical standards. One project that tackles this problem is the refurbishment of a theatre building in Zurich Nord, which, in order to run it as a going concern, required an additional 700 seats and a larger foyer.

© Roger Frei
© Roger Frei

These programmatic demands together with the specified budget gave us the starting point for a radical transformation of the existing substance into a contemporary musical theatre. Our project ‘cannibalises’ existing elements such as the basement and the fly tower. The new volume reacts in a differentiated way to the various scales of the urban context. As a result we were able resolve the urban deficiencies of the existing building.

© Hannes Henz
© Hannes Henz

Ideally, there should be a strong conceptual coherence between a building’s programme, its architectural expression and the construction costs. Due to the buildings in the surroundings – Messe (trade fair), Hallenstadion (sports stadium) – we aimed for a direct, raw and industrial kind of expression. During the day the façade of standing- seam perforated metal is reminiscent of industrial buildings. At night the windows behind the translucent membrane begin to glow transforming the building into an artificial lantern. The activities in the foyer are conveyed outside by large ‘eyes’.

© Hannes Henz
© Hannes Henz
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Theater 11 / EM2N" 22 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


bernard · March 25, 2010

dustin - what's your point exactly?

regröb · March 24, 2010

i can watch inside the womens toilet while i´m waiting for the play to start...muhaha

jayde · March 23, 2010

Luurve the inside of this building... sehr cool

fisseha · March 23, 2010

awesome,........ the building itself look like a character on THEATER

Dustin · March 23, 2010
RK · March 23, 2010

This great. I like how they expressed the expression of the material as a conceptual like of the building to it's relating context, the surrounding buildings, and the program. The consideration of how the building is understood in day time as a member of its relatively industrial surroundings and at night a lantern or a beacon of sorts if very interested. I can understand what that could do to draw in theater-goers.

I do feel that the part of the story that would explain the triangular entrance way, as well as the rake of the sloping roof-line seems to be missing. I would just like to know how some of the decision that they made were made.

Overall, it is a pretty cool-looking building. I suppose for now that is the most that I can say.

pi · March 23, 2010

really good one!

leandro matsuda · March 22, 2010

good one !!! congratulations !!!

sharwe · March 22, 2010



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