Office building on Alfred-Escher-Straße
best architects 17
Zurich / Switzerland
Andrea Helbling, Arazebra
The development along Alfred-Escher-Straße in Zurich-Enge does not present a coherent look. Commercial buildings stand next to residences, large volumes overshadow suburban villas. The important large office buildings here date from the 20th century. The 1970s building belonging to the Zürich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft insurance company has now been completely refurbished, including a new limestone façade. This exterior gives the building a distinctive appearance more in keeping with the status of the other administration buildings on Mythenquai. The mineral curtain wall lends the structure a tranquil, unpretentious look while rendering the strongly articulated volume more clearly readable. Tectonically slightly offset sandstone slabs form a tightly stretched two-dimensional skin over the entire body of the building, while generously sized, almost square window openings give rhythm to the façade. The window reveals are formed by the thickness of the stone alone, but additionally supported – both functionally and optically – by narrow stone casements that can be opened outward. On the interior, almost square, dark-framed window openings dominate the scene, forming a pleasant filter to the outside world for the open-plan offices.