Over the next quarter of a century, Irchel Campus will be fundamentally modernized and expanded, and its building density increased. The planned “PORTAL UZH” will be a linchpin in these developments. The new building will make it possible for the campus’ technical and logistical infrastructure to be modernized, as well as providing additional space needed for teaching and research.
Around a year ago, the Building Department of the Canton of Zurich – on behalf of the University of Zurich and the cantonal Department of Education – announced an architectural competition for the “PORTAL UZH”. Now the winning project has been selected: the winning team consists of the architecture practice EM2N Architects and Jaeger Baumanagement from Zurich. They were chosen from a total of 14 teams.
The winning project was selected for how it fits in with the overall vibe of Irchel Campus, developing the site for the future but not forgetting its heritage. “The project by EM2N and Jäger Baumanagement stood out with its excellent inner qualities and the way it successfully integrates into the existing campus buildings. The team showed they had understood the university’s needs and went a step further in really taking them on board,” says François Chapuis, Vice President Real Estate and Facility Management.
The planned wood and concrete hybrid construction consists of a six-story building and a long laboratory wing with five floors. An inviting entrance area with a planted roof terrace connects the two sections. In the front building a main thoroughfare houses lecture halls, classrooms and workstations/study spaces for students, researchers and employees. The lab wing directly adjoins this building and includes offices and recreation areas as well as labs. Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roofs. Technical and logistical infrastructure for the whole campus will be installed in the basement of the new building, replacing the old infrastructure and ensuring the future supply of heating, cooling, lighting, air and water as well as logistics services for Irchel Campus.
Now that the winning project has been confirmed, the team will further develop their concept with the aim of presenting a building project ready for approval to the Government Council and the Cantonal Council in 2025. Provided the project is approved and there are no appeals, building works could begin by 2029 or 2030.