Herzog & de Meuron has released details of their proposed Forum UZH, creating a new center for education and research on the city campus of the University of Zurich. The new building is a seen as a crucial element for ensuring the future viability of Zurich as a higher education hub, upgrading and consolidating an existing aging, dispersed campus.
Due to be completed in 2027, the Forum UZH will occupy a prominent corner site, combining expansive public space with the firm’s recognizable clean, contemporary language. Situated in the old city’s university quarter, dominated by stand-alone buildings set back from the street on below-ground plinths and terraces, the Forum UZH forms the 21st-century embodiment of the stately urban campus.
The Forum’s “topographical plinth” serves as a primary teaching hub, while terraces built into the slope are stepped around a central forum. The plateaus form places for students and the public to congregate, access lecture halls, classrooms, cafes, shops, gyms, and sports facilities. A flowing transition between inside and outside is paramount with the below-ground plinth interacting with surrounding urban spaces, and entrances to the building on all sides.
The building hovers above the topographical plinth, set back from the street to allow for a central plaza in the university quarter. The “Gloriaterrasse” plaza has been designed as an extension to the existing Gloriapark, while the stand-alone building is incorporated into a chain of surrounding institutional landmarks.
Inside, a unifying forum extends across all five stories, while the top four floors are arranged around two inner courtyards. An even grid of columns, efficient floor plan, and natural daylight create a simple volume prime for adaptive use, diverse learning environments, and working worlds. The two lower levels contain a library adjoining the forum, accessed through “sweeping open staircases.”
Space is at a premium around the university, more and more area is required for diverse institutions to guarantee a future for their research and teaching missions. How, then, can spaces be created for people and nature? Only by placing many of the uses in an elevated building have we been able to bring daylight into the terraced plinth and make room for the public space that we were aiming for. 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.
-Jacques Herzog, Co-Founder, Herzog & de Meuron.
For the scheme’s development, Herzog & de Meuron worked in collaboration with b+p baurealisation. Having won a competition for the scheme’s design in 2018, construction is expected to be completed by 2027.
News via: Herzog & de Meuron