<Restoration and Conversion of the Kongresshaus and Tonhalle, Zürich, 2017–2021

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Haefeli Moser Steiger built a congress house for the 1939 Swiss National Exhibition on the site of the New Tonhalle in two years and three months. They subtly integrated Helmer Fellner's two Tonhalle halls into the new Tonhalle and Kongresshaus ensemble. Their project included a lakeside terrace enclosed to the south and west by a tall glazed spatial layer of foyers and halls. At the entrance below, they placed a new vestibule. Today the monument is not only their new congress hall, but also the ornamentally and landscape-architecturally enormously rich spatial continuum, with which they linked the large public halls with a series of smaller conference and music halls. The Panorama Hall from the 1980s did not correspond to this standing. It had been placed on the lake terrace and above the ground-floor Garden Hall of 1939, costing the charming garden courtyard and cutting off the foyers from daylight as well as the view to the lake for 30 years.

The project for the renovation and refurbishment, which had won the support of the public votes in 2016, was implemented in 2021, performing a " Rochade " in which the volume of the Panorama Hall was removed from the terrace. It was compensated for, by a respectful extension of the congress area. The view relationships to the lake were regained. The extensive operation implies the construction of two new garden halls on the first floor and the restaurant pavilion on the east side of the terrace, the improvement of the rehearsal rooms and coatrooms, the installation of fire protection and modern ventilation, lighting and stage technology, and the structural reinforcement. Renovation and reconstruction were carried out in close dialogue with the authorities responsible for the preservation of historical monuments, with the acousticians, restorers, specialist planners, landscape architects and artists. Steiner & Lenzlinger created a new Flower Window and interventions in the new Garden Hall, Albert Kriemler, Akris, designed fabrics for the seating, textile walls and curtains. In addition, Josef Felix Müller designed a glass-and concrete relief for the new façade on the lake side. 

Date: 2017-2021
Client: Kongresshaus-Stiftung, Zürich
User: Kongresshaus Zürich, Tonhalle-Gesellschaft, Zürich
Location: Claridenstrasse 5, 8002, Zürich
Floor area GF (SIA 416): 34'935 m2
Program: Congress hall, large and small concert halls each with vestibules and foyers, garden halls, lecture halls and club hall with foyers, lakeside room, restaurant with terrace, administration, library, recording rooms, checkrooms, storage areas, ancillary rooms
Architecture: Diener & Diener Architekten mit Elisabeth & Martin Boesch Architekten, Zürich
Restoration: Baudirektion Kanton Zürich
Interior design: GREGO, Zürich
Project management: OAP Offermann Architekten, Zürich
Civil engineer: Conzett Bronzini Partner, Chur
Landscape architecture: Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten, Zürich
Electrical engineers: HKG Engineering, Schlieren
HLKS-engineers: Gruenberg + Partner, Zürich
Structural engineers: BWS Bauphysik, Winterthur
Lighting design: D-Lite Zürich, H PLUS S Ittigen, Bartenbach, Aldrans
Acoustics: Kahle Acoustics, Ixelles, Müller BBM Münich
Artists: Joseph Felix Müller, Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger, Albert Kriemler, Akris

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