Swiss Life Arena
Zurich, Switzerland 2012–2021 (under construction)
Client: ZSC Lions Competition, first prize
The commission for the Swiss Life Arena was won in a competition organised by the City of Zurich in partnership with the ZSC Lions ice hockey club. The building contains a 12,000-seat arena that will be the home for the team, as well as a practice rink, a business centre, a large club restaurant and car parking. The site in Altstetten is located at the edge of the city, in a place where the urban structure has run out. The new arena marks the approach to the city with a public building that makes a festive place for ice hockey.
The arena is organised on one level, avoiding the superimposition of long-span structures, and resulting in the most efficient building volume. Buttresses on the arena’s long sides support steel trusses that span east-west over the main ice hockey and practice rinks. At ground level, the depth of the buttresses forms arcades that run the length of the arena’s long east and west façades. All entrances – for fans, VIPs and vehicles – are accommodated within these generous circulation spaces. At the south end of the arena, where most fans will arrive, the arcades open into monumental stairs that lead directly to a large south-facing public terrace. During match days, this terrace provides a generous outdoor space that is not available at ground level. Outside match days, the terrace could be used for celebrations and trade events, thus intensifying and diversifying the use of the arena. The equivalent space at the north of the site is a densely landscaped courtyard that provides an exterior amenity space for the VIP and press facilities.
The primary structure of buttresses and trusses is covered by a cladding of in-situ-cast concrete elements; it refers to monumental classicism, as well as having light textile qualities. On the east and west façades, the cladding elements form undulations that press into the space between the buttresses, resembling a large hanging drapery. The light tone of the cladding will be activated by natural light, which will play on the drapery and on the fluting of its modelled surface. The cladding stops in a gently scalloped profile at the top of the arcade, the interior of which is clad in purple mosaic tiles.The emblematic figure of the building, with qualities between a monument and a tent, clearly marks out a place for public gathering that can act as a gateway to the city.
Facade mock-ups for Caruso St John's Swiss Life Arena have been photographed as part of Canadian artist David K. Ross' new publication Archetypes.
Theatrically lit at night and isolated from their surroundings, the compilation of photos aims to demonstrate how pre-constructed architectural components have become a charged form of proto-architecture.
Construction continues on the Swiss Life Arena, the new home for the ZSC Lions ice hockey team, and Caruso St John's largest project to date. The in situ concrete exposed shell of the building is currently being built and the project is set to complete in 2022.
ZLE Betriebs AG / ZSC Lions
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John, Michael Schneider, Florian Zierer
Natalija Bajovic, Christof Bedall, Leo Bettini, Tibor Bielicky, Pauline Delorme, Paul Eckert, Rafael Fernandes Trindade, Pierre Chèvremont, Svenja Gubler, Philipp Knorr, Annina Meier, Argel Padilla, Alina Pinardi, Jan Pisani, Moritz Pürckhauer, Ignasi Sarria, Joel Schärer, Jonas Schöpfer, Hannah v. Knobelsdorff, Nora Walter, Carmino Weber, Anastasia Zharova
Ferrari Gartmann AG
Kalt & Halbeisen Ingenieurbüro AG, Amstein & Waltert
Client project manager
CCTM consulting AG
Neuschwander & Morf AG
BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik GmbH
Antòn & Ghiggi Landschaft Architektur GmbH
HRS Real Estate AG
Marti AG, Barizzi AG