Invited competition

Forum UZH

University bulding Zürich

Gentle integration in the urban context
The shape of the outer shell respects the scale of the built environment. At key points, it departs from the building boundary lines and, together with the neighboring buildings, forms generously dimensioned access areas. Together with the Forum Hall, this creates a network of public spaces that penetrates the building.
The main entrance at the tram stop leads from Gloriapark via the Forum Hall to the new reading rooms and the main entrance to the library of the Law Institute. Towards the skyscraper, the façade recedes, so that the course of the Gloriakaskaden receives a second, librarian-shaped, spatial line across the Freiestrasse and Schönleinstrasse.

Invite the public to know
The forum hall resembles a public courtyard, to which a network of more intimate and individually designed meeting rooms are connected to the university. As such, the Forum Hall becomes a pulsating heart, linking the Gloriapark with the libraries as far as Schönleinstrasse into a continuous public space. Upon entering the forum, students and teachers, neighbors and tourists, researchers and explorers will be invited to participate in various stages of public life at various locations. Scenic elements additionally emphasize the public and democratic character of the University of Zurich.

New urban installations
New urban facilities shape the environment of the new Kollegiengebäude and provide space for public life. As thresholds to the building and interfaces to the university district, they mark an atmospheric transition from the public urban space of the university quarter to the public interior of the forum hall. These are places where people meet, discuss with each other, have a quick meal or wait until the smartphone receives its new display.

Along the main entrance to the tram stop, along the Gloriakaskade, there is a spacious forecourt that can accommodate mobile services (food trucks) in addition to the fixed services and services as required. To the libraries, the cafeteria and the neighboring houses on the Schönleinstrasse the Schönleinpark is created. The public panoramic terrace with restaurant is accessible via an independent lift.

Porosity towards the public space
In order for the Forum UZH to become a public meeting place, a place of lingering, reflection and discussion, it is accessible from all sides. Each path can be chosen in very different ways, creating a natural flow. The resulting niches are equally versatile and change their character depending on the use of the forum.

Porosity of the Forum-Hall
When entering the forum, the room opens in all dimensions. The play of the atria / atriums creates transparency in height and depth. The forum becomes a 21st century city square. It blurs boundaries between doing and thinking, leisure and work, consumption and production, monologue and dialogue.

Porosity of the envelope
The façade itself is not a wall, but a permeable membrane, which conveys in various ways between inside and outside. A composed pattern of windows, loggias and gardens, the UZH Forum wraps in playfully framed insights and views that invite each other to observe each other. At the same time, it presents itself sublime and close to the people, thus breaking the classical perception of a knowledge and research stamp.

Structural Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Sanitary Engineer:

Gruner AG