The Tamedia media group's office building at Stauffacher in Zurich was opened in 2013. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has designed a unique building consisting of wood and glass that offers high-calibre workplaces for some 480 employees of 20 Minuten, the Tages-Anzeiger and other media; it also represents a sustainable and lasting contribution to architecture in the city of Zurich.
Over the course of a century, the Werdareal site has evolved into a major hub of Swiss media activity. Numerous media enterprises have flocked to this site by the river Sihl since this trend began in 1902, when the editorial offices and printing works of the Tages-Anzeiger opened there. Before the move into the new building in 2013, about 1,200 people were working on the site. New locations in and around Zurich were repeatedly added due to a series of acquisitions over the years. These properties were spread over several districts of the city, and they did not offer workplaces of uniform quality. This situation prompted Tamedia's decision to concentrate the majority of its Zurich media on the Werdareal site – signalling the group's clear commitment to Zurich as a location and attesting the company's 100 years of allegiance to the Aussersihl district. Since the move into the new building, over 1,500 people have been working on this site.
Wooden supporting structure and magnificent glass facade
The volume of Shigeru Ban's building conforms to the usual perimeter development and construction height standards in this district, and its mansard roof and overheight ground floor are in keeping with the typical characteristics of architecture in the Aussersihl quarter. At the same time, the new structure stands out because of its sustainable construction techniques and materials. The defining feature of the building is a wooden supporting structure for which 2,000 cubic meters of spruce wood were used. This supporting structure performs its function without any additional steel reinforcements, and was assembled on site from prefabricated components that were precision-milled down to the last millimeter. The magnificent glass facade creates a bright and welcoming interior ambience.
A sustainable contribution to architecture
Tamedia's aim was to make this building as sustainable as possible. A double facade facing the Sihl river acts as a buffer against climatic conditions as well as a natural ventilation system, and it affords space for meeting rooms and lounges that can be opened up to give onto the river. Wood is a renewable construction material, and its use helped to reduce emissions even during the construction phase. The building will also be operated without CO2 and will not make any use of nuclear power. Moreover, fossil fuels are eliminated thanks to a futuristic heating and cooling system that utilises the groundwater.
Facts and Figures about an extraordinary new Building
- Storeys: 7 (including mezzanine gallery)
- Workplaces: 480
- Floor Area of the new Building: 8'905 m2
- Cubic Volume of new Building: 39'085 m3
- Additional Storey Area Stauffacherquai 8: 1'350 m2
- Additional Storey Volume Stauffacherquai 8: 6'890 m3
- Wood used in Construction: 2'000 m3 Spruce (Styria)
- Architect: Shigeru Ban Architects Europe, Paris
- General planner: Itten+Brechbühl AG, Zurich
- General Contractor: HRS Real Estate AG, Frauenfeld
- Wooden Construction: Blumer-Lehmann AG, Gossau
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Major Hub of Media Activity for over a Century
- Tamedia moved into its first building on the Werdareal site in 1902, when the company was still known as "Tages-Anzeiger für Stadt und Kanton Zürich AG" and the thoroughfare now known as the Stauffacherquai was still called the Sägegässchen.
- The first satellite building along the Stauffacherquai was added in 1931.
- In 1961, the company moved into new four-storey premises at Werdstrasse 21, designed by architect Werner Stücheli. Until 1984, the constantly growing print run of the Tages-Anzeiger was produced on two rotary printing machines located on the ground floor of this building.
- The Werd Media House on Ernst-Nobs-Platz was handed over to the company in 2001. Planned by the Atelier WW architects' practice, this impressive glass building features a very transparent design with open storeys and sustainable technology.
- The Tamedia media group's office building at Stauffacher in Zurich designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was opened in 2013. Tamedia's decision to concentrate the majority of its Zurich media on the Werdareal site – signalling the group's clear commitment to Zurich as a location and attesting the company's 100 years of allegiance to the Aussersihl district.