The new construction of the siege for the deaconry Bethanien in Zurich turns a former parking lot into a new urban space. In the industrial area of Altstetten, one of Zurichs main boom quarters, next to abandoned tracks, a skyscraper housing diverse programs like offices, a palliative care station, a hotel, a restaurant, as well as a child care institution, clears an urban square. Amid industrial and back office buildings for global institutions this newly created public space serves like a small hidden oasis to be discovered wandering through the backyards of Altstetten. The space is organized with different programmatic areas: a terrace for the restaurant, a representative entry area for the hotel, a small playground for the childcare, as well as diverse infrastructural zones like parking places as well as delivery.
To unify all these areas into a coherent outside ensemble the materiality of the square is all over the same, a pattern of cobblestones of Guberstone, being precisely profiled with an extensive line of natural Guberstone.
Three different types of tall deciduous trees form a tree roof flowing around the building: sophora trees on the square as a representative park tree for public facilities, tulip trees next to the street area and birches all around the building, pioneer trees, which express the proximity to the ruderal area on the track. Due to the underlying underground car park, the trees are mostly planted in troughs.
The round design of the huge planting pots underlines the space flow throughout the oblong space. With their arrangement being based on a grid, they organize the spacious urban square into different functional areas with their interplay of dense and more spacious areas.
Landscape Architecture: Neuland ArchitekturLandschaft
Client: Deaconry Bethanien
Team Neuland: Roberto Ranieli, Ioulia Goula, Laleh Bahrami, Stefanos Petrou, Maria Viñé, Corinne Büchi
Architects of the building: E2A Piet Eckert und Wim Eckert Architekten AG
Planning and realization: 2012 – 2017