UBS Headquarters Refurbishment . Zurich

afasia EM2N . UBS Headquarters Refurbishment . Zurich (5)

EM2N . photos: © Roger Frei

Over generations the historical headquarters of the UBS at 45 Bahnhofstrasse gradually distanced itself more and more from its original structure and appearance, becoming a patchwork made up of buildings from different epochs. The goal of the general refurbishment was to create a contemporary framework, to clarify the characteristics of the headquarters and to distinguish clearly between the different functions within the building and present them in the appropriate way.


The starting point for the project, which was developed in close cooperation with Hürlemann AG, was provided by the existing architecture with the striking facade and the impressive historical rooms. Taking the existing fabric as a basis, the interventions augment it by introducing modern elements that enable a new entity to develop. The combination of old and new on the one hand makes the origins of the UBS clear, while on the other pointing towards the future of the bank.

The central location of the UBS headquarters on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich offered an opportunity to encourage everyday interaction between the banks, clients and a broader public. The openly accessible ground floor is an interface space that integrates the headquarters in the urban mesh. The new café at the corner of Münzhofgasse opens up the ground floor and additionally activates the pedestrian passageway leading to Nüschelerstrasse. At the urban level various retail functions continue to bring life to Pelikan- and Bahnhofstrasse. The floor plan was reorganized by using just a few elements.

The connecting link is provided by the historical cash hall in the Münzhof. In addition to the Münzhof a new, second courtyard, laid out as a garden, was inserted in the plan. Known as the Pelikanhof this luxuriantly planted space opens up the depth of the building visually. At the heart of the floor plan, between the Pelikanhof and the Münzhof, is the new UBS Forum, a space that can be used in a variety of ways, where the bank can present itself to the public through receptions, events or exhibitions.

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