Wiels Arets Architects recently won a competition to design the “Europaallee site D” building in Zurich. The building is a pivotal component in the emerging mixed use district of “Europaallee,” a major infrastructure project which will incorporate 6,000 workplaces, 1,800 study spaces, 400 flats, one hotel, shops, restaurants, and other leisure activities. The winning entry accommodates retail activities and circulation spaces on the lower floors, while the upper volumes contain flexible office space. The building has been designed with scope for a residential component in the future.
The dual program of the building posed a challenge in creating two distinctive lighting and spatial functions. The main entry has been positioned along the parallel ‘Europaaallee’, and opens onto the ground floor’s main retail and circulation spaces. From the ground floor, a central staircase complemented by two ramping escalators traverses and connects these areas. The design is sympathetic to its context, with the thoughtful alignment of its highest points with the adjacent trackside facades, thus creating a unified design aesthetic throughout the new district. Construction of the building will commence in 2017, and is scheduled for completion in 2019.