Studie Spitalcluster Lengg, Zürich (CH)

The Lengg area on the eastern outskirts of Zurich is home to numerous institutions in the fields of healthcare, research and education. As part of a cooperative multiple assignment, the Canton of Zurich commissioned us to carry out a study, looking for ways to expand and connect the three clinics Balgrist, Schultheiss and Hirslanden and to convert them in several stages into a forward-looking and innovative hospital cluster. The basis is a holistic growth concept up to the year 2040+.

The newly created “Lengg-Platz” forms the prelude in the north. It serves the clinics, the neighbourhood and the city alike as a place to arrive, meet and spend time. Within the neighbourhood, the clinics are addressed on the street side, each with its own forecourt: Balgrist on Forchstrasse, Hirslanden on Witellikestrasse and Schulthess along Lenggstrasse, where the high point of the new administrative section ensures visibility and easy orientation.
The lifeline of the newly created cluster is the passageway. Starting from Lenggplatz, it ensures short distances between the clinics. At the intersections, vibrant meeting spaces and quiet places to linger stimulate lively social interaction. The research centre, consisting of highly optimised and functional laboratory cubes and semi-public functions, acts as an incubator that radiates positively into the overall system. The so-called “balcony”, an elevated, spacious square to the south of the research centre, offers attractive views of the mountains and Lake Zurich across an expanse of water.
As the remodelling and new construction work is being carried out during ongoing operations, this poses major challenges both for us as planners and for the clinic staff.

Step by step to the goal

The first stage of development in 2025 will already bring clear routes, urban density and defined open spaces. The new Lengg Square and the passageway will have an immediate impact.
At Balgrist, two older buildings make way for a considerable new building volume that accommodates essential hospital functions such as operating theatre extension, emergency, nursing, reception, distribution, parking and logistics. A market hall is integrated into the base. A new cuboid building on Lenggplatz will house the administration, a café and the protection and rescue services.
Schulthess will be extended initially by a south-west building, which will also create the connection to the landscape balcony and the passageway.
At the Research Centre, the first construction phase spans the passage and enlivens the square with semi-public functions such as a bistro.
Hirslanden has first to be reorganised with ring roads on different levels for visitors, patients, doctors and logistics. The next step is to restructure the basement floors, add storeys to the garden wing and extend the complex with new buildings.

At Balgrist, care is now concentrated in the new building. Another volume replaces the old ward block, which does not meet future requirements due to its structure and location.
The research centre will be extended by two further building sections, with the west section deliberately interacting with the passageway.
Schulthess will receive the new administration building in the north-east and further storeys. At Hirslanden, the extension areas that have already been cleared will be built on.

In the future, the extension of the research centre by a fourth wing, additional storeys at Hirslanden and a garden-side extension of the operating theatre wing as well as a higher replacement building in place of the hall at Balgrist are possible and compatible with the neighbourhood.

Client: Spitalcluster Lengg
Location: CH-8008 Zurich
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Study: 2020

Landscape: Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, Überlingen / traffic planing: Stadt Raum Verkehr, Zurich

Renderings: Dietrich | Untertrifaller