Architect(s) : EM2N
Address : Viaduktstrasse 69/71, ZURICH, Switzerland
Latitude/Longitude : 47.386226,8.522086
Photographs : Antje Quiram | Ralph Hut | Roger Frei
Text description provided by the architects. In Viaduct Arches, the architects at first examined the ability of an infrastructure element that is a protected monument to be programmed and make part of the urban system. Also, they tried to resolve how low-budget projects can be carried out in an era with an increasing amount of regulations (energy, hygiene, fire protection etc.) and greater demands for comfort. The viaduct is not only a bridge, but a mountain chain erected by human hand that appears in the town with a scale derived from the landscape and topography.
A linear park that is part of a culture, work and leisure mile is formed by the infrastructure element, originally used as a railway line. Two decisive urban impulses are initiated from this reprogramming of the viaduct. The first is a spatial barrier that becomes a linking structure, and the second is the outdoor spaces bordering it that are upgraded. A large-scale connecting machine and a linear building is the formation of the viaduct and the architects translated this ambivalence as a fundamental quality. They finally used it as the architectural leitmotiv to symbiotically connect the new uses with the viaduct structure. The central atmospheric element here is formed by the characteristic Cyclopean masonry. The new structures are deliberately restrained so as to emphasize the existing arches. In fitting-out the interiors the future users can choose from a kit of elements or design the spaces themselves.
Contributed by EM2N