Zürich (CH)


KAISERSROT developed in the studie the Konsensmaschine for the redesign of the Papierwerd-Areal in Zurich. In competition to designs of Miroslav Sik, Dominique Perrault, Helmut Jahn und Coop Himmelb(l)au KAISERSROT presented the results at the conference „Architekturbrennpunkt“ in Zurich.

The Konsensmaschine allows all stakeholders to take part in the design process. The study for the Papierwerdareal in Zürich copes with the redesign of the "Globus Provisorium" next to main station. The area considered as the heart of the city is extremely difficult to deal with, as many external factors have to be taken into account. Does the new building block views to important elements like the Grossmünster or the lake? How much of Limmat's waterfront is occupied and so on? Beside this kind of zoning the two main programmes of hotel and marked have to be composed with all their internal interests: The hotel-rooms want to have a view to the lake, the market wants to be on ground floor and close to the station, the restaurant has to be located next to market and hotel lobby .... Our design is now able to react to external factors, as general volumetric issues according to view blockage, building height and location at the river and simultaneously restructure and redesign the internal organisation, which itself could be adjusted by certain parameters. So whatever location or volume you want to implement on city scale, you always get the "right" building!


Markus Braach, Oliver Fritz, Alexander Lehnerer, Steffen Lemmerzahl,

Christoph Schindler

Scale: Architecture

Quantities: 7600 sqm floorarea

Internal and external optimization, compliant to standards, such as programmatic proximity, view blockage, the building’s extension onto the river Limmat, etc.

We had to place a building on an extremely delicate area next to Zurich Main Station and the river Limmat. No matter how hard we tried, the building would always block important views to Zurich’s churches, Lake Zurich or the Alps. So we designed software to generate and optimize the building’s internal organization according to the specific requirements ofall necessary functions, depending on the building’s maximum potential envelope and location. Thanks to this “Konsensmaschine,” we were able to leave the locational decision up to the city’s administration: it could choose any location and respective volume, and the program would always generate a building with a viable infrastructure - immediately. Thus this project clearly demonstrated Kaisersrot’s amazing capacity to play through scenarios according to changing conditions.

Traditionally the variations delivered by competition entries are necessary for the jury to negotiate the best possible solution. Kaisersrot contains all of these variations within one single project by simply re-regulating its parameters. By breeding the results with evolutionary algorithms and optimise it according to the maximum fitness you get close to a consensus, yet avoiding the disadvantages of a compromise.

The dynamics resemble a garden where different plants with different needs are forced to grow next to each other while negotiating continuously about a common supply of sunshine, territory and nutrition.