On the edge of Zurich Witikon, at the transition between city neighbourhood and large-scale landscape, an open urban space is emerging – together with a new sports centre, a landmark and a prelude to a playful system of sports facilities, public squares, and open green spaces along the Elefantenbach. The project stems from the ambivalent status of the area: between periphery and agglomeration, between residential and landscape area, between density and vagabond terrain, between traffic and green spaces. Emphasising the artificiality of the place and blurring the boundaries between natural and artificial environments, the concept aims for an evergreen place.
The new Witikon Sports Centre develops from a simple organisation of programmes. On the ground floor, the spatially open and public-intensive functions such as restaurant and supervision are arranged, each according to their function, sheltered from the Elefantenbach, or oriented across the corner to the north-east towards the campus with a view of the two football pitches.
The vertical organisation of the functions is also reflected in the materialisation of the building structure and the façade. The ground floor is set back beneath a massive concrete slab, which allows for weather-protected entrance areas. Above this is a monumental façade, enveloped in greenery which mediates between the omnipresent wire mesh ball nets and the opulent vegetation along the Elefantenbach.