FORUM UZH, Zurich, Switzerland


The University of Zurich, is building a new education and research center - the FORUM UZH in the center of the city. It is intended to make a decisive contribution to the future viability of Zurich as a university location. The team led by Herzog & de Meuron together with b+p baurealisation emerged as the winner of an international architectural competition.
The design envisages a six-story "floating" trapezoidal structure, built predominantly of wood and pierced by the inner courtyard and atrium. Fixed, vertical Brise-Soleil sunscreen louvers characterize its perimeter façade.

The terraced building base below is partially integrated into the ground. Both parts of the building are connected by the so-called Forum, an atrium that serves as a large, central "academic marketplace". The forum extends over up to five floors from first to second floor, in the outdoor area to the west, it continues as a garden. The academic marketplace can also be used by the university for large events for up to 2,000 people.
Despite the compactness of the building, the inner courtyards and forum ensure contact with the outside in a high degree - even for interior uses. In this way, the comfort aspects of "light" and "air" are "intrinsically" implemented by design.
The building not only creates high-quality spaces for the university itself, but also for the public and makes offers for teaching, research, library, sports, catering as well as other services.
The building is associated with the objective of high overall sustainability throughout its life cycle, which must be manifested by the subsequent Minergie-P and SGNI Gold labels.
Together with the GP team, Transsolar is working on the development and validation of the concepts for energy, thermal comfort and daylighting. Concept components include, for example, the future integration of a lake water connection for the thermal use of Lake Zurich, waste heat recovery, natural lighting to the greatest possible extent, and the generation of the building's own electricity through photovoltaics.