The FINANCIAL — Zurich has received approval for the renovation of its group headquarters at Mythenquai 2 in Zurich. The dismantling of those buildings that are not on the registry of protected artistic and cultural sites has already begun. Construction will be completed in 2020.
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has received the green light for the renovation of its headquarters. As no appeals have been filed against the ruling following unanimous approval from the city of Zurich (Gemeinderat) for the private “Quai Zurich” design plan last year, the project by architectural firm Krischanitz ZT Ltd. can now proceed. Demolition of buildings on Breitinger- and Alfred Escher-Strasse began on November 28, 2016.
Zürich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft AG has had its headquarters at Mythenquai in Zurich for 115 years. The headquarters of the global insurer include several buildings from various periods. The plans by the Vienna architect Adolf Krischanitz call for all the landmark buildings to be preserved, and for the construction of new buildings. This will resolve deficiencies in the existing building and increase the number of workspaces at the location to 1,300, according to Zurich.
Zurich is reviving the neighborhood
Zurich is also investing in the surrounding neighborhood. “We also want to raise the quality of life in the area with a café, public spaces and courtyards on the ground floor level,” said Hans-Peter Bissegger, who is leading the project. “We are also contributing more than CHF 8 million to the redesign of the Enge Port facilities.”
Interplay of the old and the new
Three buildings in the existing corporate headquarters appear in the registry of protected artistic and cultural objects. A new U-shaped building will be constructed between these, creating a comb-like structure with a new entrance at Alfred Escher-Strasse. The old headquarters on Mythenquai will be restored to its original structure as a standalone building. The building along the Marsstrasse is also being returned to its original state. The two glass wings of the new construction on either side of the existing transverse building in the courtyard are higher than the existing eaves of the buildings. They give the ensemble a new silhouette, providing a suitable setting for the heritage building.
Using renewable energy sources
Sustainable construction is important for Zurich. The Quai Zurich project expects to obtain several sustainability certificates, for Minergie-Eco (conversions), Minergie-P-Eco (new buildings), LEED Platinum and the 2000-watt Areal Certification for the entire project. When operational, Zurich’s new headquarters will use lake water for heating and cooling and will use significantly less energy than the current construction. The energy supply will be 100% from renewable energy sources.