Urban design concept and site analysis report
Client: Department of Civil and Urban Engineering, Zurich
Urban design for a large residential and recreational area of Zurichberg hill. The hill overlooking Lake Zurich is located immediately to the east of the City of Zurich. The zoo and FIFA's headquarters are located in this area as well.
The continuous metal ribbon is a direct response to the challenge of providing a visual connection between the terminus of tram line 6 and the entrance of Zurich Zoo.
It covers a walkway of approximately 300 m which provides orientation for pedestrians and also offers a series of features, accommodating zoo visitors, residents and users of public transportation alike.
Especially children easily get bored on their way from the terminus to the zoo.
The steel structure creates an exciting lively experience as one moves along the meandering ribbon. It is a playful solution for the design of a public space and as a permanent public installation, it in turn explores the potential of the site.
At its starting point, the ribbon converts into a street furniture providing informal seating opportunities for the public to make the waiting area of the tram stop more comfortable and attractive. After crossing the tramway track it rises up again to become a 60 m long elevated structure with split level paths that the children can run along. Then it slants back down to the sidewalk and continues meandering along the pavement as a flat ribbon, occasionally rearing up to grow out of the ground in three-dimensional geometric forms, each diverse in shape and size. Further down in the narrowest section of the street, the ribbon climbs a wall and turns into a light sculpture at night that becomes a ribbon again. Reaching its destination, the ribbon forms an outdoor seating in front of the entrance to Zurich Zoo.
The installation is made of weathering steel, an economic, long lasting and fully recyclable material with very low maintenance costs that can resist corrosion and abrasion.