Since its conception in 2011, the grain silo called Kornhaus has provoked strong opinions in the city of Zurich. Some were advocating for its essential role in providing for the city, some were complaining about the shadow it’ll throw on the adjacent lido and others were creating conspiracies about its alleged true purpose. Will it be used as an argument to adapt the high-rise building laws in the surrounding areas? Will it be transformed into expensive apartments in the near future? Is there any grain stored in this tower at all?
Now, seven years after construction was finished, the Kornhaus stands, solid and opaque, in Zurich amidst a social shift.
Affordable housing is becoming less by the minute, important cultural sites have perished as a result of the COVID-pandemic and others are being demolished to make way for new developments as we speak. In other words: People are running out of space. These circumstances have led to several buildings being squatted, violent demonstrations and massive public uproar.
In this context we had a closer look at the local legislation, politics, public discussions and explored the (hypothetical) squatting of the Kornhaus as a catalyst for change.