Swiss National Bank, Zurich
in collaboration with Trix and Robert Haussmann

Umbau Schweizerische Nationalbank, Zürich, Fischer Architekten AG Zürich

The main building of the Swiss National Bank in the inner city of Zurich, which is a listed building, was to be renovated and adapted to meet current needs. A delicate pavilion-like glass construction in the historical cash hall meets new requirements without impairing the perception of the architecture.

The main building of the Swiss National Bank stands to the north of Bürkliplatz, near Lake Zurich. Erected by the Pfister brothers between 1919 and 1922, today the building is under a preservation order. The comprehensive adaptation, which took the conservation aspects into consideration, included increasing the usable floor area on various storeys of the building and improving the circulation system. One requirement was that the number of cash desks in the spacious and representative cash hall on the ground floor should be reduced.

In order not to impair the spatial impression made by the architecture of the historical cash hall a delicate all-glass structure that resembles a pavilion was inserted in the space. Detached from the existing building, the outer glass envelope is like a membrane discretely positioned in the space. In combination with the glass partition walls between the individual cash desks its transparency allows visual contact with the hall from every desk.

Two years earlier alterations had to be made to the building complex on Fraumünster, which stands to the east of the main building and belongs to the National Bank, too. The courtyard was given a glass roof and equipped with a back-lit glass lift.

This project was developed in collaboration with Trix and Robert Haussmann.

Börsenstrasse 15, 8001 Zurich, Switzerland
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Task Adaption / Adaptation and renovation
Job type Consultant selection procedure, in collaboration with Trix and Robert Haussmann
Deliverables Project, tender, implementation project, construction management
Time period 1999–2001
Challenge Dealing with historical building fabric and an architectural legacy