The Centralplatz in Thalwil offers space for a wide variety of activities and is a “living room” for a large sector of the public. It makes an important contribution to the identity of the residential population. Above all, however, it makes a statement about the raison d’être of open spaces in densely built-up areas.
Thalwil, a village with urban traits on the western shore of Lake Zurich, lacked its own local centre. Plans for private construction projects near the train station awakened the municipal authorities’ interest in preventing excessively long buildings and creating instead a central outdoor space.
The Centralplatz (Central Square) proposed for the train station/central area provides the public space that was called for – a place for meetings, exchanging ideas and for contemplation. The space extends between two palazzo-like buildings. Through their height and positioning they mark the outdoor space, give it a powerful aura, and strengthen its presence in the public perception.
The existing changes in level on the square are cleverly exploited to make terraces, the raised location offers a view of both the lake and of the eastern Swiss Alps in the distance. The square can be used in a wide variety of ways. For the people of Thalwil Centralplatz is a place that establishes identity, where village life can develop.
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