The leftover spaces beneath bridges and viaducts are being reclaimed in bold new ways around the world. Swiss design firm EM2N and Zulauf Seippel Schweingruber Landscape Architecture has refurbished a series of late 19th-century viaduct arches in Zurich, Switzerland into the “most exciting street to shop” in the city. The competition-winning design, called IM VIADUKT, injects a series of contemporary shops and restaurants beneath the arches, while keeping the architectural integrity of the viaduct intact.
The architects and landscape architects reclaimed the spaces beneath the 36 viaduct arches by inserting black steel-clad structures that house a mix of art galleries, shops, restaurants, and more. A Market Hall is located at the heart of the project and offers space for twenty local farmer and food vendors to sell their products. The contemporary buildings are designed with a restrained and minimalist materials palette in order to keep focus on the existing arches and exposed masonry.
“The viaduct is more than just a bridge,” write EM2N. “Like a mountain chain erected by human hand it appears in the town with a scale derived from the landscape and topography.” The converted railway viaduct is now home to over 30 shops as well as the market hall, and is open on all days of the week except for Sunday.
Images via EM2N