The small lawn area in front of the globe becomes the symbolic cushion of calm amidst the bustling world of Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse.

The Pestalozzi site lies at the heart of Zurich on the busy Bahnhofstrasse and displays a pleasant, anachronistic quality. While people and goods flow past ever more quickly and smoothly and the global village, even on Bahnhofstrasse, becomes increasingly smaller, the small lawn in front of the globe retains its peace and dignity in the face of the hectic pace of everyday life. Viewed spatially as a break in the structure of the block developments on its perimeter, it also functions directly as such for passers-by. Here it is possible to catch one’s breath, to relax, to rest. The ability to sit, observe, chat or read at one of the most highly frequented locations in Zurich is the outstanding quality of the Pestalozzi site. This has been the case and should remain so in the future. It is intended to be the cushion on which the city can relax. It underlines both the artificiality of this urban space and the declared intention never to build on this spot and commercialize it. The cushion, an abstract garden space and a surrealistic phenomenon in the city, is the answer to the needs of passers-by to pause for a while and to gather their thoughts. The lawn area stretches out in gentle curves between the buildings and traces the space made possible as a result of the area never being built up. The minimal topography guides the viewer’s gaze and movements and offers various seating and lying positions thanks to the various gradients of the slopes. The compact quadrangle is spatially framed by a loose wreath of trees. At night, a matte shimmering line of LEDs traces the perimeter, but otherwise the cushion lies in darkness. The only luminous spot is the Pestalozzi monument, which is illuminated by a floodlight.

  • Stadt Zürich
  • Grün Stadt Zürich
Project Data
  • Competition 2007, 1st Prize
  • Area 6'000 m²
Project Team
  • huggen_berger architekten ag, Zürich
Grünes Kissen für Pestalozzi-Anlage (2007), Media

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