Design Schwarzburg Architekten AG / Architektur APS GmbH
Location Zürich, Switzerland

industrial architecture

Dedicated remodelling offers the opportunity for a new building life. This realisation is not only supported by economic rationality, but also has a lasting effect. In addition, façade renovations in particular respond to the subtle coexistence of historic urban neighbourhoods. The consortium of Architektur APS and Schwarzburg Architekten proceeded accordingly in their redefinition of a historic printing works building in Zurich, realised for the private Tamedia media group. The reinforced concrete building dating from 1928 with load-bearing façades and hourdis ceilings was analysed in terms of style and materials, restored in a contemporary style and its usable space expanded by almost 20 percent. The rooms were given their former height and the amount of daylight was maximised. It was also important to the clients, the Zurich-based TX Group AG, that the 285 employees now housed there in 3,075 square metres of office space could share in the qualities of the characteristic industrial architecture.

dynamic interaction

In the context of the installation of a contemporary, digitalised working environment, which was to offer not only open-plan office space but also a newsroom for Tamedia’s editorial teams, who work intensively and under time pressure, this meant many innovative ideas and specific detailed solutions. For example, a lighting system specially developed by Litelab reacts to the outside climate and daylight intensity, the ventilation is integrated inconspicuously and works in an energy-saving and demand-controlled manner. Visual connections and visual references were also important within the interior design, which use glazed openings and apertures to create contact not only between the elements of the diverse spatial programme of offices, meeting rooms, telephone booths and kitchenettes, but also to connect neighbouring buildings. Despite the highly dynamic interaction of the journalist staff on the one hand and the historically stylised hard surfaces on the other, it was possible to create a pleasant acoustic atmosphere with selected ceiling elements – such as the cement flooring that characterises the open spaces and the visible support structures.

"The latest working environments in the historic print shop building link the history of the company with the digitalised world of the future."

What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?
Jörg Schwarzburg: Apart from ergonomic, functional and organisational aspects, a good workplace must have good spatial qualities. Natural and artificial lighting, a cosy room climate and impeccable acoustics are particularly important. Appropriate dimensions and proportions of the rooms create the basis for this. The selection of durable and healthy materials and harmonious colours ensure pleasant conditions for the people working there.
Do you see any similarities in interior design for living and working?
Both living spaces and workspaces must fulfil these basic architectural criteria, but workspaces are subject to more general requirements due to the larger number of users. The appropriate rooms and zones can be created for a wide variety of activities. Their ambience should be appropriate to the activity, the work. It is not about catering to individual preferences, but about expressing the identity and culture of the company.
Which material-related aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
Materials should be healthy, free of harmful substances, natural, durable and age well. Taking into account and analysing any existing buildings, it is important to create a suitable concept for the needs of many users and uses. The trend is towards a reduced choice of materials, a moderate use of new materials, without unnecessary layers, while preserving the existing building as far as possible. This results in quiet and pleasant working atmospheres. The use of textiles for acoustics is once again playing a greater role.

ClientTX Group AG
ArchitectsArchitektur APS GmbH / Schwarzburg Architekten AG
Project typeModification/rebuilding
Gross floor area m25504
Number of employees-
LightingLighting concept and design customised luminaires: Litelab, Milan, IT Manufacturers of special luminaires: 2f-Leuchten GmbH, Emmenbrücke, Esse-ci, Vigonza, IT, Patriziavolpato, Marghera, IT, Artplayfactory Studio, Milan, IT, manufacturers of catalogue luminaires: DCW éditions, Paris, F; iGuzzini, Recanati, IT
Workspace FurnitureLista Office, Cassina, Tabulum, Denz
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
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