Modern Materials on top of historical Stones

Modern Materials on top of historical Stones

Löwenbräu premises

The two architectural firms Gigon/Guyer and Atelier ww focus on height within the scope of the post-compacting process of the Löwenbräu premises in Zurich.

Just a few minutes from Zurich central station you will find the former buildings on the Löwenbräu premises. Several of these listed buildings are located along Limmatstr. The area is surrounded by numerous residential and office buildings, ranging from old to modern. This architectural encounter of old and new happens rights at the heart of Zurich life. Here, you will find shops, cafés, restaurants and cultural event places along the streets.

Former Brewery Building

The historic brick building was erected in 1897 on behalf of Löwenbräu brewery. 97 years later Hürlimann company took over the brewery’s main building and closed down production only four years later. Since the 1990s, the building serves as a center of contemporary art. In 2004, it was sold to the real estate company PSP Swiss Property.

New Emphases

The design of Gigon/Guyer and Atelier ww promises to create a special and unique situation in Zurich. On the Löwenbräu premises a usage mix of living, commercial life, offices and culture is intended to evolve. The individual buildings are going to focus on height in order to not emphasize one usage area over the other.

The old brick building will be a place for mainly cultural events and will serve as an expansion of this hitherto art center with its modern and plain structure.

A 70 m high tower, higher than anything else in the area, creates living space. Because of this and also through its black color as well as its rectangular shape, the residential tower has turned into something like a landmark for Zurich. Room for commercial life and offices, however, is provided inside the 38 meter high “little brother”, which is not going to be less eye-catching due to its red color.

At first sight, Löwenbräu Black and Löwenbräu Red remind of the cult game Tetris. As if placed on top of historical buildings by higher forces – that’s how these two elements look like. All in all, however, the shape and coloring are supposed to take care of an architectural and volumetric balance.

The even façades consisting of small parts match the old buildings, transferred into a modern language. An additional cohesion of old and new is created by three courtyards. They serve as places to meet others, provide light for the surrounding buildings and also serve as a transition of industry and modern architecture.

The individual Components

Löwenbräu Black residential tower has approx. 6,000 m2 of living space. There will be apartments of between 98 and 320 m2, providing, due to their high location, a fantastic view of the city, the lake and the Alps. Still, the apportionment of apartments is flexible to such a degree that the buyer is going to have a high level of creativity. Apart from 2.5 to 5.5 room apartments, exclusive penthouses and duplex apartments are going to be built.

Six-story Löwenbräu Red with the already existing brick building houses expanded commercial facilities on the first floor and offices on the remaining floors. The listed buildings along with the expansion provide an area of 4,500 m2 for cultural usage.

However, not only the row of brick buildings is listed, but also some leftovers from the industrial era such as the steel silos. They embellish the new construct of old and new like a statue.

Ingenious Connection or simply too much?  

It is unquestioned that the Löwenbräu premises is going to be a new highlight in Zurich. The concept arouses interest and promises to be a very exciting and attractive area. A well-made connection of history and modernity sets special emphases on 21st century architecture. Whether the modern additions to the historically important industrial buildings at the Löwenbräu premises remain an insurmountable contrast or not or whether the result is going to be an overall well-made composition: We shall see.

Project details


Gigon/Guyer, Atelier ww


Completed in 2012


32,000 m2


PSP Swiss Property


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admin's picture
admin 20. November 2011 - 16:10

WOW :o

admin's picture
admin 20. November 2011 - 16:17


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admin 20. November 2011 - 17:41


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admin 21. November 2011 - 10:01

amazing, Seran, thanks for sharing: juxtaposition of the old and the new bring out the best in both..

clodymony's picture
clodymony 12. December 2014 - 19:52

These buildings look great and they have a nice and modern architecture. Moreover the constructor focused on using one of those Concrete foundations Fort McMurray AB in order to create a solid structure. Living in such a building should be great!