Development of a marina in Zurich

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Program: Creation of a land port, a water sports centre with a hall, changing rooms, training rooms, workshops, equipment rooms combined with drying rooms, a gourmet restaurant and a fast food court on the quay.

General contractor: Zurich’s municipality

Project management: Buzzo Spinelli in partnership with ATP Architekten Ingenieure

Cost: 14.645.000,00 € ex-Tax

Areas: NET: 1764 m²

Schedule: Competition 2018

Visualization by: Ilulissa Images

Located at the southern limit of the city of Zurich, the project site is currently neglected by locals and tourists. Lakefront recreation and play areas are located farther north of the shoreline.

Therefore, our ambition is to revitalize the premises and lead to the walkers pushing their pedestrian and bicycle paths to Tiefenbrunnen...


So we thought of the project as a vector of urbanity, and in this sense, we have put the public space at the heart of our concerns.


We have then overlaid the program elements in order to create a compact building that frees up the space on the ground. Furthermore, by setting back the building from the future park, we have intentionally highlighted the views from the bank to the end of the dock.

At the South East of the marina, the area is left free for the development of the land port.


Public space grows in continuity of the building floors.

Like an invitation to explore the project, a ramp unfolds on the northwest facade from the ground floor to the fourth floor, encouraging the pedestrians to ascend and reach out for breathtaking views of the lake, the surrounding mountains, and the south bank where boats for learning support are laid.


The structure is on the perimeter of the plateaus and the vertical circulation is moved to the side of the building, so that each floor is a free plate anticipating a possible future mutability of the program.

Each level constitutes a pole that allows practicality of use and security. The space utilisation and simplicity of maintenance will be promising.


A second ramp on the pier dialogues with the first one. It guides the pedestrians to the end of the quay, to the fast food court.

The whole pier is a place of meeting, sharing, and exchanging. Benches punctuate the promenade giving one the chance to pose and contemplate the panorama.


From the end of the pier, or from the North East road, the elevator rises to the sky like a totem that signals the place.

This concrete tower derives from the concrete silos nearby relating to a port vocabulary...


Indeed, the materiality of the project has its source in the harbour atmosphere of the place.

It translates in concrete for the structure, glass for the interior spaces to create transparencies, stainless steel blades for the public spaces’ flooring.

The project wishes to integrate a global approach of sustainability in its site.

Urban, architectural, material and structural choices create a true identity in a place that has been neglected so far.

Like an urban ship, the cantilevered building opens onto the lake...

© Buzzo Spinelli Architecture