The new appearance of the Mythenschloss in Zurich takes account of the proportions of the existing historical facade that listed as a building worthy of preservation. The clearly legible grid of prefabricated artificial stone elements forms a contemporary robust and flexible basic structure.
The Zurich Mythenschloss stands close to the lake amidst a mix of neo-classical stone buildings and modern glass cubes. Although its location marks the interface between an urban district and the water, the building has identical fronts on both sides – to Mythenquai and to Alfred-Escher-Strasse. The principal idea behind the new façade concept was to remedy this lack of differentiation.
In the new interpretation the head-end building remains the place of arrival, the address, which acquires an additional quality by raising the carparking area in front of it. However, the side facing towards the yard dispenses with the existing projections and recesses. Through a new, finely articulated facade idiom the rear part of the building that faces away from the lake and is placed precisely on the existing building line evokes a dialogue with the urban system.
In general, the clear internal order of the neo-classical building is depicted in the facade and blends with the new design concept. Slightly porous, coloured concrete defines the basic grid and, together with the dark-coloured precast concrete elements used as infill, translates the natural stone look of the existing building into a contemporary idiom.