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Team: Bene Wahlbrink, Eugenio Cappuccio, 

             Irene d'Alessandro, Jan Bauer

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Type: Competition

Year: 2022

Today, the three Triemli high-rises stand next to the new hospital buildings, almost abandoned, as if not quite knowing what to do with themselves. Yet, what kind of future do the towers face today, no longer in line with the demands of society?

Do we tear them down and build something new? – Perhaps in ten years. Until then, the possibility remains to use the buildings to their full potential, through a cooperative process to persuade people to keep these structures after all.


To achieve this, the scheme proposes a model for development and use, offering flexibility in response to a series of different changes over the years to come. The importance of sustainability, reuse of materials and the valorization of existing buildings have only recently come to light as we grapple with the impacts of the construction industry on climate change. This approach aims to serve as an instigator for novel modes of to use, hoping to encourage public opinion to reconsider the role of these existing towers within the neighborhood. Perhaps by then, people will have grown so fond of them that there may be a “tomorrow” for them after all…


The three towers under construction, 1968
© ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv 


Triemli housing development, 1969
© ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv



For this purpose, a new cooperative structure - a kind of foundation - is established, which includes an exchange between various voices ranging from consultants and contractors, to stakeholders and residents, in order to undertake a successful future development.

To facilitate this, an architectural approach is devised that makes this flexible process possible. This aims to answer the questions of "what" should be urgently renewed or changed, and “what” should be left as is. For this process, we have developed four different steps.


Development of the floor plan over time



To ensure maximum flexibility across each step, a hydraulic climbing framework system is used to act as a wind shield during the process. This system is designed  to be used normally to build new high-rise buildings quickly and efficiently. For our purpose will build a structure around the three towers in the coming years. Thus, the building does not need to be scaffolded as usual but can be added to gradually step by step. Once reached the top, the climbing system remains to form a new roof terrace for the structure. When the structure needs to be dismantled, the “sledge” is lowered again and the façade is removed and stored for reuse.


The Beginning_Groundfloor

Our contribution was one of 45 entries imagining the next 10 years of the buildings as a flexible process of development, to be carried out in different phases.You can find

all contributions here:

©️ 2023 Panta Rhei Collaborative


The sledge reaches the top floor


Moving In_Facade

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