Portal UZH


University of Zurich, Irchel Campus, 8057 Zürich

Type of Contract

Competition, 2nd prize 2023

Baudirektion Kanton Zürich, Hochbauamt

ARGE with Burkard Meyer Architekten, Baden

General contractor

Confirm AG, Zürich


MOFA urban landscape studio GmbH, Zürich

Civil engineering
Borgogno Eggenberger + Partner AG, St.Gallen
HVAC planning

Amstein + Walthert AG, Zürich

Laboratory planning

MedPlan AG, Schaffhausen

The project proposes a composition of two buildings, very different in their proportions and architectural expression. Oriented on the overall proposals of the earlier feasibility studies, it proposes splitting the programme for research and teaching into two volumes, which relates to the scale of the surrounding buildings. The new buildings Y10 and Y51 form the lower edge of the site towards Kantonstrasse. Because of its situation and its public role, the almost square building Y10 serves as a point of orientation and an address for the campus as a whole. Towards the promenade, it appears as a three-storey building, establishing a strong counterpart to the State Archives building. It forms a contrast to the long forms of the existing pattern of buildings. Despite its peripheral situation, one finds here the future centre of a structuralist campus originally built without a centre. Its counterpart is made by the elongated laboratory building Y51. More

The laboratory building Y51 uses the potential of a robust structure in a completely different way as a building for teaching. Based on a hybrid, reinforced concrete frame, it is optimised for the various fit-out scenarios for laboratory and office spaces. A main core, situated at the interface between the main programme and the social spaces, as well as a pair of functional secondary cores determines the inner structure of the building. The way the cores are placed enables a flexible organisation of the spaces with optimal natural daylight. The social spaces at the end of the building are structured by seminar rooms on each storey.
The way the two buildings differ is also shown in their architectural expression. A common concrete socle forms a basis and takes up the differences in topography. The tectonic order established here continues over the upper floors of the laboratory building Y51, where continuous, planted spandrels alternating with ribbon windows emphasise the horizontal appearance of the building. In contrast, the pavilion-like teaching building Y10, whose deep facade gives the building a light and open appearance. Its upper storeys have balconies all around, which form a transitional space that can also be used to relax and study. The timber structure orders the three-storey facades, with the tall, multi-storey columns giving a vertical emphasis. Together, the two buildings make a pair, which determine and strengthen one another, while each still having its own unique character.

Main Facade
Large Hall
Seminar Area
Floor Plan Level E
Floor Plan Level F
Floor Plan Level G
Floor Plan Level H
Site Plan Campus Irchel
Cross Section Teaching Building
Cross Section Laboratory Building
West Facade
Longitudinal Section Of The Teaching And Laboratory Building
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