The architectural competition for the Zollhaus began in mid-October 2014 with 220 international offices and teams registered to take part. The competition was international, open and single-stage, and 102 projects were submitted in time in March 2015. The overall quality of the entries submitted was extremely high and displayed an intensive examination of new forms of living and working, as the cooperative had included in its required space allocation program. Over the course of three well-attended public jury days, the jury devoted itself in detail to the 101 projects that were finally accepted for evaluation. On the evening of the third day of the jury, May 12, 2015, the jury unanimously selected the “ESPERANTO” project of the Zurich architecture team Enzmann Fischer Partner AG.
Tender for material for the architectural competition:
The winning project “ESPERANTO” succeeds in translating the cooperative’s needs for a lively, diverse and dynamic mix of residential, commercial, cultural and community uses into intelligent architecture. The Zollhaus is intended to become an offer for the neighborhood as well as an attractive residential and commercial location.
Extract from the jury report:
“ESPERANTO” implements the three parts of the building specified in the design plan on a common plinth floor with different focal points of use. The core of the new development is the “Forum” at the corner of Langstrasse/Zollstrasse. This multi-purpose space develops over three floors, connecting the quarter and settlement levels as well as the third floor with the more extroverted uses: Office cluster and guesthouse. At city level, the auditorium, bar, café and restaurant are concentrated around the spatially extremely attractive forum, which also serves as the main entrance and address of the Zollhaus. The spatial structure is not only suitable for the use of the residential community, but can also be opened up as a non-commercial residential area for the neighborhood.
There is a “courtyard community” above the forum hall with a floor that is higher than the inner courtyard level for hall accommodation, a large household and a common room. There are smaller mixed types on the floor above, which can be accessed via a green walkway. The fact that the building typology makes it possible to live even on Langstrasse is rated extremely positively. A world of its own is emerging here that has a lot of potential for an urban, community-oriented life. With a second, modest entrance hall, which is clamped between the children’s use of the two staircases for molecular living, the house B participates in the events in the house A. Due to its proportions and exposed location, house C is considered to be unsuitable for living and is therefore designed for working from terrace level. The architectural expression of the building is inspired by commercial buildings that accompany the track spaces as solitaires. The vertical structure, which brings all three houses together, and the extension of the strongly contrasting transparent pedestal emphasize the special position of the ensemble in the quarter. The “ESPERANTO” project impresses with its seductive wealth of ideas and suggestions. It offers the desired business card – not as a flat sign, but as a usable space. It was developed with obvious heart and soul and a desire for design.