Balgrist University Clinic, Zurich

Universitätsklinik Balgrist, Zürich, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The competition called for an adaptation to meet present-day spatial requirements, the disentangling of the various patient flows, and the optimisation of routes and orientation. In addition, the project proposal, which was granted first prize, reorganises the volumes of the building complex.

Balgrist University Clinic is a conglomerate of various extensions standing on an elevated site in the Zurich district of Riesbach. Just like the neighbouring hospital buildings it is not integrated in the basic urban development pattern and deviates from this structure through its size, heights, and form, as well as its orientation.

The additional buildings in the competition entry are used to reorganise the system of volumes and to emphasise the autonomy of the building complex. The main intervention in the volumes takes the form of an angular extension that provides the increased room capacity called for. The elongated courtyard created as a result continues the theme of the existing courtyards within the complex as a whole.
The individual areas such as the outpatients’ clinic, intensive care ward and operating theatres were to be concentrated spatially by relocating some of them, while the accesses to them were to be centralized. Improvements to the approach driveway and the entrance were planned to give the clinic a new address that would establish its identity. Further interventions included freeing the park facade from disruptive extensions and the addition of a storey to the staff restaurant above the kitchen.

Forchstrasse 340, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
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Task Redesign and extension to the clinic
Job type Competition after prequalification
Mention 1st prize
Deliverables Project (the commission was suspended after the preliminary project)
Time period 2002–2004
Challenge Urban planning, continuation and development of existing architectural qualities and hospital structures