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Office and Commercial Building Binzstrasse

How do we want to work tomorrow? In the project for this office and commercial building in the Binz district of Zurich we were confronted with this question in a very concrete ways, as from the start of the project it was clear that EM2N would itself take part of the rental space. Alongside our vision of a new world of work, the distances from the site boundaries and the permitted building heights also played an important part in shaping the project. However, we did not see the restrictions on the volume as a disadvantage but viewed them more as a productive catalyst for the conception of an innovative commercial building.

Depending on the position in the building, rooms of different sizes and varying heights were made, spaces of a kind very rarely found on the normal property market. A restaurant at ground floor level is intended to create a public place with an influence that extends as far as the entrance hall and beyond the building into the nearby surroundings. The rental units on the upper floors have directly accessible, half-covered balconies on the northside. External staircases connect the terraces on the south façade, which can be reached directly from the courtyard. This staircase route gives the building the character of a collective and encourages communication and exchange between the tenants.

The greening of the building is an important part of the concept. The plants have two functions. On the one hand they are intended to produce a kind of ‘green oasis’ in Binz, a densely developed industrial district where most of the ground is sealed, which aims at improving the users’ subjective perception. On the other hand, the plants help the building climatically by offering protection against the sun and creating a microclimate around the balconies and terraces. Shrubs, bushes and hanging plants are planted directly on the terraces in irrigated planting troughs. In the south plants on projecting trellises provide shade for the floors below, in the north the greenery grows mostly along the railings. The exposed concrete facades on the east and west sides of the building are greened with climbing plants that grow from ground level.

The materialisation and the building services concept are as raw and simple as possible. All rooms are ventilated through the windows and are passively cooled by means of thermo-active building component systems. In the office levels on the 3rd to 6th floors ventilation is dispensed with completely, for the commercial functions on the ground floor to 2nd floor ventilation is extended up to and including the distribution ring. In constructing the building space for service and riser zones was included, making adaptations that might be required by tenants possible.

Photographs: © Damian Poffet, Berne-Liebefeld
Architectural visualisations: © ALMA, Paris
Model photographs: © EM2N, Zurich

Index: 250 BIN
Dates: Commission 2017 · Planning phase 2018–2022 · Construction phase 2021–2023

Team EM2N
Partners: Mathias Müller, Daniel Niggli · Associate: Gerry Schwyter · Project leaders: Kristina Strecker, Hugo Torre · Project team: Carlos Maria Azpiroz Franch, Lorents-Kristian Blomseth, Mariantonietta Irene Gadaleta, Kevin Hinz, Damir Karakaš, Sebastian Lenders, Martina Melegari, Kseniia Ponomar, Julia Przybyszewska, Maria Remma, Theodoros Sandros, Lukas Schädler, Sandra ten Dam, Kenneth Woods
Model making: Joey Frei, Jonas Rindlisbacher
Signage: Caroline Vogel

Specialist planners
Landscape architecture: Balliana Schubert Landschaftsarchitekten AG, Zurich · Project development: Fischer Immobilien AG, Zurich · Construction management / construction realisation: WSP Suisse AG, Zurich · Civil engineer: WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich · Planning heating / ventilation / air-conditioning and sanitary services: Aicher, De Martin, Zweng AG, Zurich · Electrical services planning: Inelplan AG, Rapperswil · Building physics / acoustics: Kopitsis Bauphysik AG, Wohlen · Fire protection: Conti Swiss AG, Zurich · Sustainability: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, Munich

Zurich, Switzerland

Direct commission

Swiss Life Asset Management AG



Ateliers, Commercial premises, Entrance hall, Green balconies, Meeting rooms, Offices, Parking, Production spaces, Restaurant

5,500 m²