LÖWENBRÄUAREAL, Zürich, Switzerland

LÖWENBRÄUAREAL, Zürich, Switzerland

Janine Campbell RAIA


Project: LÖWENBRÄUAREAL, Zürich, Switzerland

Architects: GIGON/GUYER and atelier ww

Brewery manufacturers in recent years have relocated from the outskirts of cities leaving large districts of sites ripe for urban rejuvenation, such as Sydney`s Carlton United Brewery development designed by Jean Nouvel

Zürich`s famous Löwenbräu brewery area is now also under development, and until recently, was a makeshift arts centre for some of the wealthiest contemporary galleries and art collections in Europe. This included collections such as Hauser & Wirth, Daros Collection, and Kunsthalle Zürich.

The original brewery building was constructed in 1897 out of brick and over the decades transformed and enlarged.  Several galleries moved into the former brewery and was closed in 1988. The current residential and cultural development (due for completion in 2013) is designed by by Gigon Guyer in collaboration with Atelier WW. Gigon Guyer is a Zurich based architectural firm headed by partners Annette Gigon and Mike Guyer, who recently had a retrospective of their work shown at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Atelier WW is also a Zürich based architectural firm, with an expertise for industrial sites.

The project consists of 3 main parts, ‘Löwenbräu Black`, a residential tower with a dramatic cantilever,  ‘Löwenbräu White’, an extension to the contemporary arts facility (which was completed last year), and ‘Löwenbräu Red’, the office complex with two public courtyards.

Of particular interest is the ‘Löwenbräu Black`, designed to partially cantilever over the existing brewery buildings. Currently, the cantilever is temporarily supported by large beams, adding to the dramatic effect of the cantilever.  Also of interest is the architect’s building design that has been incorporated into the branding and promotion of the site.