Sihlcity Zurich, Switzerland Client Credit Suisse Asset Management, Karl Steiner AG Architect Theo Hotz Lighting consultant Reflexion Engineers Kiwi Systemingenieure und Berater, Thomas Lüem und Partner Manufacturers Antares Iluminación, Neurco, IGuzzini Light sources Neuco LEDs and outdoor lighting, IGuzzini outdoor lighting, Antares Iluminacione downlights Total surface 100,000 m2 Total cost € 820,000 Duration of construction 3 years Completion date March 2007
Photographers Ralph Bensberg www.bensberg.ch
Jonas Kuhn www.jonaskuhn.ch
Opened in Spring 2007, Sihlcity is one of the largest private building projects to have taken place in Switzerland over the last few years. Dominating an area of 100,000 m² in the South-West of Zurich, it features an entire mirco-city; including shopping, entertainment, living, working, dining and leisure activities. The public areas are busy 24 hours a day so their lighting scheme plays a vital role in its dynamism and atmosphere. An architectural concept designed by renowned architect Theo Hotz, the project preserves the industrial character of the location − a former paper factory − and adds wide spaces and large-scale buildings, unusual for densely-built Zurich. A blend of old and new buildings, the structures in Sihlcity vary from 1950s brick buildings to modern cubes with concrete façades and largescale windows. Most buildings in Sihlcity are aligned along the North-South axis. To break this routine, Hotz also used the vertical axis, layering new elements over existing ones, which creates a unique impression of weightlessness. Responsible for planning the illumination of all the public areas – namely the façades, the traffic areas in the shopping mall, the various entrance areas to Sihlcity, the main square (Kalanderplatz) and its adjoining street as well as the underground public transportation area − Reflexion was invited to join the project team in early 2004, with founder Thomas Mika and one of the company’s head engineers, Oliver Königs, leading the proceedings. Focusing on three main targets, their concept was to emphasize the large scale of the spaces and the layering of buildings, with a view to creating welcoming, atmospheric environments, and underlining the dialogue between old and new architectural elements. Enhancing the spaces and shapes of Sihlcity, all outdoor areas were covered with a reflective type of asphalt. Utilizing this material to create façades that sparkled in the dark of night, Reflexion installed masts with dozens of bright spots, directed onto the surfaces in irregular patterns. Old buildings are illuminated with vertical, warm light, increasing the 3-dimensional appearance of their textured brick façades, whilst the new buildings with their smooth-surface structures are immersed in soft shades of cooler light. Contrastingly, one of the largest buildings in the centre of Sihlcity has no façade illumination. Instead it is framed by a ray of light at a height of over 10 m. This effect reflects the light on the roof, emphasizing the horizontal axis of the building and is achieved using specificallydeveloped, easy-to-service lights with shades that lie in a narrow canal around the façade. The service functions of the complex are all located underground and are brightly illuminated. In order to optically separate the underground bus stop from the rest of the service area, Reflexion had it marked with dark pink rays of light and white illuminated adver-
tising boards. This technique both highlighted the area and created a welcoming atmosphere for waiting passengers. The core building of Sihlcity − the mall − borders Kalanderplatz to the South. It hosts over 70 shops and restaurants as well as a medical centre. : Daylight floods in through three large light-wells. Pointed lights fixed to their steel structure create the impression of a starry nights sky’. The oval balustrades between the mall’s various floors are equipped with 2,700 LED lights and slowly fade into different colours. This lighting of the balustrades enhances the building’s height and serves as a prominent indicator of the different levels. The sparkle of the lights gives an emotional contrast to the cool concrete of the balustrades and gives the impression of large chandeliers. To ensure additions to Sihlcity’s illumination remain considerate to the overall concept, Reflexion enforced a ban on neon shop advertising. As a result, to accommodate the needs of shops that require night-time advertising, a bespoke signage system was developed, made from standardized logo boards which hang on steel wires over the shopping street. Keeping the commercial signage in all outdoor areas at such a low level is intended to add to the charm and atmosphere of Sihlcity at night. However, there is one landmark which stands out and greets visitors far and wide. The two twin newels of the parking lot are illuminated with uplights in the parapets, giving them a nocturnal aura of weightlessness.
Published on Apr 24, 2008
Published on Apr 24, 2008
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