Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Europaallee ‘Site D’ in Zürich, Switzerland by WIEL ARETS ARCHITECTS
August 27th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: WIEL ARETS ARCHITECTS
This new building is an integral component of ‘Europaallee’, a currently emerging district adjacent to Zürich’s central train station. A plinth of retail programming anchors the project to its site, while its upper volumes consist of flexible office spaces that, due to their shallow depth and efficient façade grid, can be occupied by several individual companies or a larger singular tenant. These dual programs posed the challenge of creating two unique lighting and spatial requirements within this prominently sited building. 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. Foreseeing a possible conversion into future residential units, the building’s flexible structure was designed to allow for such a repurpose of its program. The resulting silhouette, and the alignment of its highest points with the trackside façades of the two adjacent plots, will ensure a powerful and unified building amid the area’s planned structures, further defining the distinguished context of the surrounding ‘Europaallee’.
Wiel Arets (1955) is an internationally renowned architect. He graduated from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands in 1983, where he received a Master of Science in Architecture. He established his own office that same year, which later expanded throughout Europe. His writings and projects are published globally. Since 1989 he has continually taught at the world’s most distinguished universities. From 1995 to 2001 he was Dean of the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, and from 2012-2017, was the Dean of the College of Architecture (CoA) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, where he remains a tenured professor. An eminent critic, he was the President of the Jury for the 2012 Venice Biennale of Architecture, Chair of the Jury for the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture—Mies van der Rohe Award, and established in 2014, together with the CoA, the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), of which he is President of the Board.
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