Genferstrasse 27, Zurich

Swiss Re

Conversion Genferstrasse 27, Zurich

Zurich, 2019, conversion Genferstrasse 27, 5900 m2

Built in 1968, the administrative building in Zurich’s Enge quarter had to be comprehensively renovated. Modern building physics and fire safety requirements, as well as contaminants found on the site, required the refurbishment of the façade, which was the most defining element of the architecture. Planned by architect Rudolf Zürcher, the building was characterised by a striking exoskeleton of slim, square solid steel columns which had been covered and clad in aluminium for fire safety reasons. A curtain wall and parapet linings made of aluminium castings completed the look, which was typical of the period. The objective of the complete renovation was to preserve and reanimate the signal character of the building. The structure itself did not allow for a renovation of the façade or the exoskeleton. The renovation measures build on the original architecture, yet differ notably from a pure reconstruction. The façade grid has been retained, while the exoskeleton was replaced by interior supports. Large window fronts and a filigree web of pilaster strips further highlight the ‘vertical accentuation’ (R. Zürcher) of the building. The aluminium castings were re-sized and re-used. The base of the building, a ‘table’ in structural terms, was also renovated. Much of the granite floors and white-grey marble cladding in the interior have been retained.





Swiss Re


Genferstrasse 27, 8002 Zürich

Type of commission

General planner team selection process

Planning phase

November 2015–April 2017

Construction phase

April 2017–September 2018

Gross floor area


Room arrangement


General contractor / construction management

Ghisleni Partner AG, Zurich

Civil engineer

Bänziger Partner AG, Zurich

HVAC engineer

Polke, Ziege, von Moos AG, Zurich

Electrical engineer

Thomas Lüem Partner AG, Dietikon

Fire safety and contaminants

Gruner AG, Zurich

Building physics

Buri Bauphysik & Akustik AG, Volketswil

Sustainability label


Fotografie Bestand

Hannes Henz, Zürich

Stücheli Architekten AG

Marián Brunzel, Fredi Doetsch, Christof Glaus, Carlos Mora, Andreas Mosimann, Afroditi Stavropoulou, Kana Ueda Thoma


Beginning the complete renovation of Genferstrasse 27, 17 03 17