Re-education Centre in Zürich
Re-education Centre in Zürich

The purpose of this research project was to explore and find out some solutions on how healthy indoor working environment and high standard of indoor air quality could be achieved in an office building, while making the minimal impact on the environment. The building technologies and materials were applied, those either existed or were under development.

The project is a redevelopment of Toni Yli-Suvanto’s design program during his master’s degree studies at ETH Zürich. In terms of urban situation, the aim was to consolidate the urban structure and promote pedestrian mobility around Rigiplatz. In terms of program, facilities were required for teaching, workshops, administration, management, auditorium, library, archives, restaurant, accommodation and parking.

All working spaces are provided with generous indirect light in similar intensity. They are column free, and housing technology installations follow regular base grid for organizational flexibility. Exposed timber in internal surfaces and vertical green walls in core circulation areas moderate the humidity levels and create pleasant natural atmosphere.

Fresh air is distributed evenly through integrated in- and outtakes following the natural air flow. Generous and light staircase located centrally to the office floors promotes internal vertical communication and personal fitness. All commonly used service areas are located in the central zone of the floors, making it available to all, independently of the room organization.

Timber as carbon storing and recyclable material is used for the most of the structure. The building envelope is utilized effectively according to the orientation. The solar power harvesting is allocated on the ceilings which receive the most intense radiation levels. The west- and south facing facades are used for algae production, which takes advantage of vertical orientation. In addition to producing biomass for biogas production, and heat for immediate use and geothermal storage, the algae paneling provides diffuse shading for the openings and serves for cooling or heating of the inner facade. The north- and east facing facades are well insulated, and constructed using fully recyclable cellulose waste paneling. The foundations are used for passive precooling and –heating of indoor air.

Location:Rigiplatz, Zürich, Switzerland
Type and Year:Internal research project 2012
Gross Floor Area:8600 m2
Architecture:Toni Yli-Suvanto Architects
Visualisation:Toni Yli-Suvanto Architects