Location: Zurich, Switzerland
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
Client: MCH Messe Schweiz (Zürich) AG
Construction Management: Bauengineering.com AG
Structural Engineering: Aerni + Aerni
Mechanical Engineering: 3-Plan Haustechnik
Lighting & Stage Engineering: Nüssli AG
Project Year: 2005-2006
Photographs: Roger Frei Architekturfotografie & Hannes Henz Architekturfotografie
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.
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.
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’.