Recycling center Juch, competition entry, 2022

The new recycling center on the Juch site is to become a pilot project for reusing of building components and make an exemplary contribution to achieving the city's net-zero target.

The culture of reusing existing elements has a long tradition in architecture. Existing structures are often rebuilt or reconstructed, as a whole, in set pieces, or reassembled parts. The project takes up this eclectic tradition.

Switzerland is a country rich in raw materials. In contrast to other countries, however, these are not to be found here in the soil but primarily in the built urban landscape. If one firmly embraces the idea of re-use and adopts a pluralistic approach to architecture, one moves powerfully forward towards net zero with post-modern models in the rear-view mirror and with many references in mind and in urban mines.

The recycling center is designed as an ensemble of four building components, each fulfilling different requirements: The operations building, the stair tower, the hall, and the depot. They are all connected with each other and guarantee smooth operation through their interaction.

An ensemble of four building parts: Operations building, stair tower, hall and depot

Structural framework and construction: primary structure, façade, secondary structure roofs, façade cladding, photovoltaic system and green roofs

Overview of the reused building components from already identified urban mines

For the most part, the hall is constructed from the reused parts of the Hagenholz recycling yard in Zurich Leutschenbach. The compact operational building is the only structure in the ensemble with a closed climatic envelope. This keeps active energy consumption to a minimum. In the depot, all vehicles required for operations can be parked and materials can be stored, cleaned, sorted, and repaired.

Modular and compact construction, suitability for disassembly, adaptability and the use of regenerative materials are the four principles that shape the design of the new recycling center, in addition to the intended maximum reuse of existing components.

The concept of reuse is based on three key strategies: Obtaining the highest possible proportion of the required components from reuse, substituting emission-intensive components with reused material to achieve the highest possible CO2 savings, and taking into account the availability of the components.

Recycling center Juch. Status: Competition entry (not ranked). Program: Recycling Center. Location: Altstetten-Zurich (ZH). Schedule: Selective competition 2022. Landscape architecture: Sima Breer. Renderings: Zuend Zuerich. Structural Engineering: Aschwanden & Partner AG. Ressource management: SUMAMI AG. Technical building systems, sustainability, and BIM: Amstein + Walthert AG. Construction management, circularity assessment, and accounting: Drees & Sommer Schweiz AG. Organizing body: Public works office, City of Zurich. Collaborators: Michael Wagner, Raphael Vanzella, Jil Kugler, Milo Strub.