Swiss Re Gotthardstrasse, Zurich
The Image of a Garden
Swiss Reinsurance Company
Stücheli Architects Zürich
1994 - 1999
1 400 m²
The garden courtyard of this office building is situated in the centre of Zurich. A subterranean car park generates this entirely artificial site. The stonemason’s work on the granolithic concrete surface has, in combination with the perforated filtering concrete created an ornamented surface. A precisely shaped rectangle with iris-shaped strips takes the process of seepage and drainage as its theme. A three-metre high wall cuts through the courtyard space and establishes clear-cut, in same places openwork and transparent boundaries towards the adjacent properties.
A copse of Katsura trees dominates the courtyard thanks to its foliage that changes its hues in quite a striking manner in the course of the seasons. The characteristic leaf form was used as the theme of the tree-grids and, in winter, recalls the absent foliage. A black water basin mirrors the crowns of the trees, the sky, and the façade of the transparent, glazed building. Seen from the offices, the elements of the courtyard recall a garden, an idyll in the midst of the town.
Project by Kienast Vogt Partners