New Max, Zürich
Sauerbruch Hutton, competition, 1st prize
The competition brief called for an atypical office building that serves its users throughout the day in the heart of Zürich’s downtown area. The project is conceived as a composition of stacked boxes, different in programme, volume and surface treatment. While the main volume containing office spaces has been kept very simple and the facade developed in straightforward pattern based on the number of floors, the glazed boxes on the ground floor are offset to create a passage into the garden and designed to be flexible usage-wise. The three rooftop boxes are treated as semi-autonomous volumes surrounded by a garden. A simple pragmatic and flexible basic structure is given an immediately recognisable appearance with the overlapping coloured strips in different-sized grains, inspired by the artwork of swiss architect Max Bill. The office floors are based on a grid and designed in a way that allows for different types of unit combinations; cell, group, open-plan and combination offices. On the ground floor, in addition to the two office foyers, commercial spaces and an entrance area for the rooftop there is a separate garden volume, which can be used as a gallery or showroom. The rooftop spaces are public, with a separate access. I was involved in the conceptual phase of the project, exploring possible uses, different variants of the programme distribution and in charge of developing and testing various spatial and facade concepts through sketches, drawings, physical and 3d models.