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City Garden Zug

designed by /

Location: Switzerland / Type: Gardens / Parks / Water features / Built: 2013 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on March 11, 2015

Planetage landscape architects: The former arsenal area in the city of Zug to be re-shaped essentially comprises the space between the Zugerberg- and the Kirchenstrasse, with St. Oswalds-Church and both locations of the city- and the cantonal library of Zug. The client and area owner wanted a public city garden, connected to the existing pedestrian network of the old town, which should also link the location of the main library building to the location of the reading room. The particular challenge was, that this place is occupied by a large-scale public parking garage, which is partially visible, protrudes from the sloped terrain and its driveway intersects the area, since the 70s.

The winner of the competition for landscape architecture, announced in 2010, was the project oben I unten (up I down) from Planetage landscape architects and Planwirtschaft in collaboration with Ramser Schmid architects. The jury report praised “the clever insertion of a customized fitting component between the upper and the lower level with a surprising and convincing layout of the terrain edge. This is where new offers for a ‚stay’ are concentrated.” Instead of hiding the huge building volume of the underground parking by topographical accumulation of soil, the planners acknowledged the presence of this building and decided to expose parts of it, to complement its construction and enhance it by a paneling.

The densely vegetated spaces were transformed into a new “clear, airy and elegant urban space” with a view over the old town from the belvedere. In the center of the new facility a threefold division is situated: Hangband – a lower slope belt with gardens bordered by hedges, Intarsie – the implant with the embedded water pool on the upper level and the intermediate Hangkante – the slope edge comprising of a vertical lamellar wooden structure and a put-on-top mushroom-like pavilion.

The framed gardens in the Hangband extend in north-south direction parallel to an important public footpath and the driveway to the parking garage. This slope-belt, which is loosely covered with trees, acts as a mediator to the rear gardens of the old town houses. A series of small-scale, atmospheric city gardens with niches for the stay and a permeable throughway, form a green fringe to the old town. Walkways and stairs lead past lush flowering rose, iris, and some old garden varieties of rare crops and ornamental plants through the site, directly to inviting benches or the dappled shade beneath the pavilion.

The upper level in front of the new study library is designed as an open, multi-functional space consisting of a lawn inlay – Intarsie. The cynosure is the submerged water basin densely vegetated with iris. A free seating along the rear sunlit and with clematis overgrown wall, with a view to the large, projecting pavilion, creates a relaxed informal atmosphere.

The edge of the slope – Hangkante – is newly accented with a wood slat cladding between the upper and the lower level. This serves several purposes. Besides its function as a safety rail for fall protection (belvedere), it highlights the built structures, thereby facilitating additional orientation on the site. In the design proposal, disturbing elements of the existing parking garage, such as an emergency exit are hidden, and material transitions between the 40-year-old existing concrete surfaces and the new additions are veiled, without hiding the massive presence of the underlying structure.

The placement of the pavilion in the complex follows the internal logic of the existing building found above the parking garage. The cantilevered pavilion is fitted on top of the lift crossing and the ventilation center of the underlying 10-storey parking facility. The technical section of the construction, protruding from the roof of the garage, is raised in height and forms the base for the all side overhanging roof. Analogous to the wooden cladding of the slope edge, the design team developed a permeable cover with horizontal wooden slats, which elegantly finishes the existing buildings without hiding them completely. The cladding depicts the vertical subconstruction as well as the roof’s radially arranged laminated beams and reveals solely by its geometry the constructive design of the supporting structure.

In addition to the functional illumination of the connecting paths, the accessible city park at night time receives a subtle support of the shaping elements, settlements and paneling alongside the edge of the slope.

Project Credits

Name of Construction: Stadtgarten Zug (City Garden Zug)
Location: Zug, Switzerland
Category of contract: competition for landscape architects
Participation as Association: Planetage landscape architects and Planwirtschaft in cooperation with Ramser Schmid architects.
Client and area owner: Building Department, Building Authority Canton Zug and Building Department, Department of Civil Engineering City of Zug
Year of completion: autumn 2013

Planning team
Overall management and landscape architecture of project City Garden Zug: Planetage landscape architects, Zürich
Marceline Hauri, Christine Sima, Karolina Katsabi, Helge Wiedemeyer, Ramon Iten Thomas Volprecht (Planwirtschaft)
Construction Management: Kolb Landschaftsarchitektur, Zürich, Thomas Kolb Sectoral planning:

Pavilion and parking garage:
Ramser Schmid architects, Zürich
Christoph Ramser, Raphael Schmid, David Dick, Isabel Amat, Lena Bertozzi, Elena Castellote, Patrick Schneider

Light installation:
d-lite Lichtdesign, Zürich, Guido Grünhage, Pia Ziegler
Construction work and supporting structure pavilion:
Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure, Zürich, Stefan Bänziger, Menco Furter
Ralph Feiner, Malans Guido Baselgia, Malans

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