With around 28,100 students and 9,800 employees, the University of Zurich (UZH) is the largest university in Switzerland. Due to the constantly growing number of students, additional space is needed. The new FORUM UZH building should provide the urgently needed additional space for teaching and research and should be ready for occupancy in 2029. In this way, FORUM UZH makes a significant contribution to ensuring the high quality of educational offerings at the University of Zurich and the future of Zurich City Center as a university location.
A major project as a place where science and society meet
With FORUM UZH, an education and research center is created in a prominent location that meets the latest requirements of modern forms of teaching and learning and creates identity. The building is designed as a hybrid construction of wood and concrete: the seven upper levels form a compressed trapezoidal body made of wood, which stands on a concrete base. This includes three cellars. The central element of the building is the actual ‘Forum’, which serves as accommodation for students and visitors, but also provides space for public events. In addition to rooms for the faculties of modern law, economics and linguistics, five lecture halls, a library and an educational center are planned. Flexible teaching and learning rooms as well as a research area foster interdisciplinary collaboration. The gyms are located on the same base.
FORUM UZH also assumes a major function in the overall picture of the Zurich city center university district. It creates the spatial link between the three traditional institutions of the University of Zurich, University Hospital Zurich and ETH Zurich. The planned new building also symbolizes the exchange between science and society.
Also sustainable in construction
The new building project with a total area of about 37000 m2 The main usable area is comprehensively planned in a sustainable manner. The building will be certified according to Minergie P and the gold standard of the Swiss Society for Sustainable Property Management (SGNI), which also emphasizes FORUM UZH’s environmental qualities internationally. Wood and concrete hybrid construction reduces carbon dioxide2– Emissions during construction significantly and at the same time increase the quality of stay indoors.
Due to the location of the ridge, it is important to design the roof of the building as a fifth facade. With full area cultivation and high photovoltaic system, a positive contribution is made to the city’s climate. At the same time, a habitat is created for different species of animals. The planned greening of the city square with large trees will also reduce the heat island effect. In the field of construction technology, attention is constantly paid to the use of minimal technology, which ensures optimization of maintenance and therefore cost-effective operation. Moreover, a very good connection with public transport is ensured.
The costs of the new building (including reserves) are estimated at CHF 598 million. The cantonal assembly approved a mortgage in return for the attention of the cantonal assembly. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, with relocation planned for 2029.
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