Elmiger architects | Sihlstrasse


Project: Baurekursgericht Kanton Zürich
Brief info: Conversion and renovation of office spaces
Location: Sihlstrasse, Zürich
Client: Hochbauamt des Kanton Zürich
Realization: 2016

Conversion and renovation of a floor of the Handelshof office building in central Zurich – turning bank offices from the ‘80s into a new home for the Kanton Zurich Baurekursgericht.

The spatial and architectural concept for this renovation project is rooted in the historic building fabric of the Handelshof, still relatively unchanged and clearly visible in the stairwells and the facade. With simple means the existing surfaces were replaced, adapted or in some cases simply newly painted to recreate the original effect and tectonic of the interior spaces.

To keep within a tight budget, many existing elements of the office spaces were retained and integrated into the new concept. While the lawyers’ offices are intentionally calmer and more understated, the 98m corridor from which all spaces are accessed is structured with a new more dramatic colour concept in order to emphasise its depth and length, as well as to aid orientation and to help in finding individual rooms. A new fire and circulation concept allowed this whole central corridor space to be opened up, helping it regain its role as central spine running unbroken through the whole building.