WISSEN HÜTEN


DECEMBER 2020
STUDIO ANETTE SPIRO - ETHZ

NILS GROOTENZERINK, FLORIAN RÜEGG

Situated between a typical perimeter block development and the old city fortification at the Weinbergstrasse in Zurich, the former hat factory Welti is located. We were given the task to modify the existing structure in order to house the gta-Archive, which at the moment is occupying the basement of ETH Hönggerberg.
The requirements entailed by the future use, our assessment of worth in preservation as well as the unique spatial situation demanded great care and nuance in the design. The design of the facade responds to the narrow courtyard by introducing a strong emphasis on the horizontal lines of the extension.
In that way, the verticality is split into sections and appears less colossal. Furthermore, to resolve the statics while preserving the existing structure, we introduced a new load bearing framework which centres in the main staircase. This staircase leads through the archive up to the public floor, allowing visitors and staff to see the archive in a new way. With this gesture, we wanted to give the archive the visibility we think it deserves.