Europaallee Baufeld E
ARCHITECT: Caruso St John Architects
& Bosshard Vaquer Architekten
CLIENT: Schweizerische Bundesbahnen SBB
AWARDS WON: RIBA AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE
Europallee is a boulevard which establishes a new route east to west with enlarged splayed ends to accommodate retail and café spill. The building is one block of a masterplan transforming a former railway site to the South side Zurich Hauptbahnhof. The masterplan set out dimensional parameters for blocks and public realm as well as a quantum of mixed use per block.
The blocks to the east of the subject development have been completed by Max Dudler and David Chipperfield. Baufeld E is the second in the phase and set out to deliver 40% residential and 60% commercial/retail.
The building reads as 2 twinned blocks within the wider urban context, but is conjoined by a central entrance lobby to access the commercial floors. The ground and upper 4 storeys of the building accommodate commercial and retail and, at level 5 the blocks breath in and residential units ascend to the roof.
In terms of the wider urban decision, the architects were keen to develop a simple language with a distant reading of the grain of Zurich of articulated roof forms, undulating block forms and to mitigate the scale shift from the historic (now creative quarter) to the south of the site and denser taller blocks to the north. This is achieved with the broken mass and articulated roof and chimneys.
Keen to retain a vertical order a structural grid is expressed in stone on a 5.4m commercial grid, which is then adapted within the residential floors. Fenestration, ventilation panels and spandrels operate to accommodate the ventilation requirements.
Up close, the detail of the building is beautiful both in execution and material choice with a palette that is extremely refined and rich in colour and texture. There are broad rules. Colours accord with retail frontages, commercial and residential entrances. The architects have accepted the fussiness that retail units bring to the street and countered this with large and deep residential entrances and a deep under croft to the west end. Overall, the building is a very intelligent response to the city, the problem of density and wears a beautiful jacket.
CONTRACTOR: IMPLENIA GENERALUNTERNEHMUNG
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: CONZETT, BRONZINI, GARTMANN
M&E ENGINEERS: KALT & HALBEISEN, ENERPEAK SALZMANN
COST CONSULTANT: PBK
Project Management: OAP
Access Consultant: ESS
Building Physics: Bakus GmbH
Acoustic Engineers: Bakus GmbH
Façade Engineering: Emmer Pfenninger Partner
INTERNAL AREA: 30,000 SQM
Date Of Occupation: 12/2013
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Georg Aerni & Hélène Binet