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2035: An Office
Schönberggasse 9, Zürich

32 von 332
Cafeteria roof terrace © Marc Küttel, ETH ZürichOffice © Marc Küttel, ETH ZürichModel area view © Marc Küttel, ETH ZürichModel close-up © Marc Küttel, ETH ZürichExhibition © Marc Küttel, ETH Zürich
11'640 m²
29'000 m²
120'000 m³

"2035:An Office" is a proposal for a future-proof institute building of the University of Zurich. A rigid grid, simple and yet adaptive to change, highly efficient and structured, on the inside surrounded by the colours and forms of nature – this is what constitutes this university building for the year 2035. It is an architectural response to the ever-changing demands of research and higher education in a (post-)modern society.

The new institute building is located at the eastern edge of the Schanzenberg. The Schanzenberg is the last large land reserve of the University in the inner-city of Zurich. Indeed, this offers a huge potential. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the university district has grown into a fine network of public spaces and educational facilities. Parks and squares connect and frame the large-scale buildings, forming the heart of the campus. Through a precise placement of a very compact building a high urban density is achieved and moreover preserving the last unspoiled square meters as a public green space for the university and the whole inner city.
The façade, a silver mirror, reflects the surroundings and its urban bustle. The park, the city and the alps, all framed in chrome steel. The cafeteria on the sixth floor of the building marks a recess. It is a hub where researchers and students gather and connect. It extends as a terrace to the roof top of the annex, inviting to a step outside and a walk amongst the crowns of the surrounding pines.
The building will mark the beginning of the university district. 81 meters tall and visible from allover the city, it clearly marks and strengthens the city’s oldest educational institution as a knowledge hub of the future.

Knowledge and Research are the foundations of the economy of the city. The institution will be under enormous pressure to deliver its promises. Highly motivated students and top-class researchers are its resource. This university building is a crucial part of this huge apparatus, keeping their great minds: healthy, efficient and highly creative.

«There has been an inversion in the hierarchy of the two principles of antiquity, “Take care of yourself” and “Know yourself.” In Greco-Roman culture, knowledge of oneself appeared as the con- sequence of the care of the self. In the modern world, knowledge of oneself constitutes the fundamental principle.» Michel Foucault, “Technologies of the Self,” in Ethics, Subjectivity and Truth. Essential Works of Michel Foucault 1954-1984, (New York: The New Press, 1994), 228.

As digital technologies and automation are on the rise and economic pressures at universities tighten budgets, connectivity is crucial. A super computer and a server farm ensures competitiveness and speed of the research. Archives, Books and Relicts from past centuries can be analysed by the usage of cutting edge technologies. Old and new comes together at the heart of the university.

"Hot Life, Hot Desks"

The office layout and culture will follow the trend of extending leisure time and working less. People are not only defined anymore by their work but also their lifestyle and experiences in their free time. In an equal society, where part-time work is ubiquitous, maintaining a personal desk won’t be feasible anymore. The demand for a good work-life balance will be stronger than ever.
Diener & Diener’s Swiss Re Next building serves here as a role model to organize the floors of the offices. Measurements of Swiss Re showed that employees occupy their regular office desk less than 50% of the time. The ‘Hot Desk Principle’,where employees don’t have a fix desk assigned, but sit where they need to, saves over 30 % of office space. Eventually, less square meters of office space free more money for high-quality materials and equipment.

"to knoll is to mies"

the structure, the installations, the floor – everything has to knoll -> a grid, 640 cm by 640 cm, structures the building windows, each 320 cm wide, half of this grid, clad it plates, black terrazzo, 80 cm in width, 80 cm in length, pave its floor
Rhythmic structural columns, suspended ceilings and cavity floors allow compact assemblies. Undisturbed by any technical installation, the maximum freedom to adapt for tomorrow’s needs is ensured.
The tower with light demanding rooms, from offices to laboratories, comes along a thin glass curtain. Adjacent to it stands the annex building, cast in solid concrete it protects archives, servers and facilities.

Rational. Outperforming. Efficient. The demands known today. Ready for the future.


Marc Küttel

Universität / Fachhochschule

ETH Zürich

Departement Architektur
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8049 Zürich
044 632 11 11

Situationsplan 2035: An Office von
Grundriss 1:50 2035: An Office von
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