Department of Earth Sciences ETH, Natural Sciences East (NE) – Natural Sciences West (NW), Zurich

A high hall and proportions straightened out

Fundamentally it was a question of re-conceiving the two architectural languages represented in the building. The core of the building originates from 1912 - 1916 and it was extended - and spoiled - in the 60s.

The refurbishment is a classic example of how to treat a national monument. Openness, light and clear structures are now once again the dominant features of the ETH building. This is exemplified by the atrium hall: with its three floors, it has regained its impressive height. New staircases in a voluminous space connect the hall with the entrance level. The elegant exhibition structure represents an additional, new feature.

The cost-effectiveness of the building has also been raised by optimising the laboratories and combining the institutes as well as through structural renovations and technical improvements.


Interior Design

The three-story atrium opens up unobstructed to its fullest effect, giving free reign to the interplay of matte and gloss.


Year 2009
Contact person Christoph Arpagaus
Client ETH Zurich, Buildings Department
Architect Itten+Brechbühl AG
General planner ANS Architekten AG
Lighting planner mosersidler.
Exhibition planner Holzer Kobler Architekturen
Start of construction NW 2005
NO 2006
Start of operation 2009
Floor area 27 070 m2
Construction volume 91 000 m3
Photos Brigitt Lattmann, Gränichen