Innerer Garden Zurich Leutschenbach

Born out of a test planning process, the Innerer Garden is not only a reinvention in terms of open space typology; innovative and new approaches were also required in terms of transformation processes and design methods. The work process always took place on both a large and small scale, it was at once urban and spatial or strategic and atmospheric. The challenge was not only to plan, but required an active role as a mediator between different parties in order to involve all those with diverse interests.

1 Test planning 2010

What does the transformation from a purely industrial to a residential area mean for the open space structures of the urban fragment between Leutschenbachstrasse and Hagenholzstrasse?
Within the framework of the test planning procedure, this question was answered with the ‘inner garden’: This creates a fine-meshed passageway adapted to the new use and supplements the existing offer with a new type of open space. Urban development from the open space.
The basic urban planning approach proposes that uses that require large parcels of land (“big books” such as television, bus garages, etc.) should remain in the city and thus on site, and be supplemented by residential and commercial uses. Strategically, no fixed urban figure is given, but rather an interplay of halls and towers that can establish themselves differently in the allocated areas.

2 Rough concept 2013

What kind of open space is the Inner Garden exactly, what qualities does it offer for the Leutschenbach Quarter, what tasks does it assume?
Within the framework of the rough concept, the specific spatial character of the ‘Inner Garden’ was defined and the rules for its implementation in stages were laid down. The divergent needs of the neighbouring residents had to be taken into account as well as the requirements for an ecologically and socially high-quality outdoor space. The examination of a new typology of open space and the fact that it was not a project but rules for a transformation process that had to be designed called for new methods.

3 Implementation concept 2015

The spatial qualities developed in the rough concept had to be translated into a set of rules within the framework of the implementation concept.

4 Legal implementation 2015

What rules are needed at the legal level to set the most important course and at the same time develop a lean set of contracts?
Questions about cost sharing, liability and maintenance influenced the design process, as did the question of how a cross-parcel realisation could work.
In addition to the easement plan and the contract, twelve design rules were developed in order to implement the Inner Garden as a uniform and continuous open space over a longer transformation process and through the most diverse participants.

5 Design Guidelines 2015

As a contractual component, the design rules define the conceptual framework.
– Garden atmosphere
– Routing
– Materialisation
– Planting
– Terrain
– Equipment

6 Implementation of the Design Guidelines 2016-2021

As a pilot project of the Inner Garden, a large and important section of the Inner Garden was implemented as part of the open space design of the WolkenWerk project. Important principles in the design, in the planning process and in the implementation could be examined and thus valuable conclusions could be drawn for further sub-areas.

7 Realisation of further sub-areas

Based on the design guidelines, further stages of the Inner Garden were realised by various planners, contractors and building owners, for example at Swiss Television (SRF), Schutz und Rettung (SRZ) and Swisslife.

Architecture offices involved in the design:
Nahoko Hara, Zeno Vogel Architekten, Wingender Hovenier Architekten, metron Städtebau, Alex Willener Soziologie

Location: Leutschenbachstrasse, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland

Design year: 2012-2016

Year Built: 2016-2021 (1st Step)

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