ABB Learning Factory Zürich

The global company ABB plans to restore a number of former industrial halls located near to the company’s headquarters in Oerlikon, Zürich. The restoration, which meets listed building restoration criteria, involves the conversion of the buildings into a so-called “ABB Learning Factory”, or prestigious training centre. As part of an international, company-run ideas competition with three participants, the ABB Steering Committee selected DFZ Architects for the execution of the subsequent planning stages. The area, covering ​​approximately 10,000m², will consist of training rooms for international managers, an exhibition space, events areas, a restaurant, as well as offices. Through the “house-within-a-house” approach the unique, existing framework of the building will be fully preserved. The subtle design of the fixtures and extensions blend perfectly into the existing structure and form an exciting contrast to the industrial character of the existing halls. An imposing sense of space is created through the specific arrangement of the structure and levels. Only a few minor alterations are planned for the building’s exterior, helping to ensure that the historic character of the building both outside and inside remains almost completely intact.

Competition: 1st prize
Date: 2011
Use: Education, Events, Exhibition, Administration, Catering
Initiator: ABB Immobilien AG Switzerland