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Neugestaltung Max-Frisch-Platz in Zürich

Landscape architectural competition

The station Oerlikon is the most important public transport connection to the district Neu-Oerlikon. The northern exit of the station builds the central development area of the Max-Frisch-Square. Several different moving directions cross at that point; so the square has an important role as a place of arrival and departure in the new residential district. Tram, bus, bicycle and pedestrian will be seperated and pass the square parallel.

The design for the new roofing of the bus stop, the bicycle shelter and the AXA Winterthur building will take up the linear and cubic structure of the already existing roofing. The construction of the roofing in the waiting area is body-like. Strong props will hold the light transparent roofing and offer places for seating, passenger information, ticket machines and advertising space.

In the eastern part of the square there will be build two new roof structures, positioned opposite each other to equalise the waiting situation next to the main exit. The green structures of the side streets will be continued to the eastern and western boarder of the square. Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) will build a framework of the square.
At the Max-Frisch-Square there will be planted a group of three Indian bean plants (Catalpa bignoniodes). Their big leaves will provide pleasant natural shadow and their white flowers will inspire in summer.

In search of identity

Along the northern new building and parallel to the railtrack runs a 2,6 m wide, 130 m long and 2 cm deep water pool. The surface of the square and the pool will be the same; basalt slabs, anthracite in colour. The shiny surface forms a contrast to the matt surface of the pavement. In the water pool highlighted gleaming letters shows the sentence „Sooner or later every person makes up a story, which he thinks is his own life". It is part of the novel „My name is Gantenbein" written by Max Frisch. The letters will be made out of white quartzite, which contrasts the dark underground.
The font will be the same like it was in the original typewriting manuscript of the author.

All letters poke out of the water and will be walkable, so it is possible to pass the water pool at any point.
Before Max Frisch became an author he was an architect; the pool area refers to the only existing builing of him, the swimming pool ‚Letzigraben' in Zurich. At the same time, the surface of water will be like a mirror, a reflective face of yourself.

The furniture of the square will be white aluminium chairs, which will be designed especially for that place. The flexibility of the chairs make it possible to choose your favourite place to stay. The lighting of the square will take place by the coloured roofing of the bus stop and lanterns along the railway at the southern part of the square. The streets of the surrounding area have the typical lantern type used in Zurich, called ‚Minilux'.

An audio guide will be installed at the bus stop and in all four bus lines. You can hear parts of the texts of Max Frisch during the time of waiting and the bus ride. The selection of the texts will be discussed with the Max Frisch Archive beforehand.

  • Location:

    Zurich

  • Client:

    Department of civil engineering and waste management

  • Period of planning:

    2009

  • Prize:

    Participant

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Keller Damm Kollegen GmbH
Landschaftsarchitekten Stadtplaner
Prof. Regine Keller, Franz Damm

Lothstraße 19
80797 München

Tel. 089 248 83 83-0
Fax 089 248 83 83-99
info@keller-damm-kollegen.de

Geschäftsführer Regine Keller, Franz Damm
Amtsgericht München - HRB 193687

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