SS 2018 The Twelve Crowns
Anna Moroni.


A crown is usually sitting on top of a hill overhanging the city, but in Zürich it isn’t. On the contrary, it merges with the other university buildings. Thus the idea of this project, is not to complete this crown with a third building, but it is to scatter and fragment the program around the university campus.

Instead of one large building containing the whole program, it is divided between twelve interventions that enhance twelve existing buildings. Consequently, the city crown is shared by the twelve buildings, all part of the ETH and of the University of Zürich, adding to their legitimacy.


These additions use the infrastructures of the existing buildings, such as toilettes, entrance lobbies, technical rooms, etc. This fragmentation of the building and of the program also reflects the image of the campuses nowadays, which are more and more spread around the city. The division of the program between the different additions has been done as follows:

The Smiling Block includes a 3000m2 library on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th floors of the building.

The Bipolar Villa contains, on the 4th and 5th floors, two small professorships each of 250m2, with offices and research facilities. It also has access to a roof terrace.

The Triplet Villa has on its 3rd, 4th and 5th floors, a total of 1000m2 of offices and meeting rooms for three big professorships.

The Confused Palazzo includes 1500m2 of offices, working places, meeting rooms and laboratories on each of the four floors, for a total of 6000m2, hosting three big institutes with 6 professorships each.

The Cyclops Manor hosts on its 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th floors, 480m2 of offices and meeting rooms, for two small professorships.

The Watching Tower is the only part of the buildings present on the site that is preserved. In its extension, we find on the 5th floor a 200m2 kitchen and on the 6th and 7th floor a 380m2 café and canteen. On the groundfloor are located 200m2 of public facilities (bookstore, take-away and student organizations).

The Surprised Block contains a 480m2 sports hall on the 6th floor, as well as a 100m2 fitness together with a 50m2 weight room and and changing rooms.

The Mute Tower has a 140m2 auditorium on its 6th floor.

The Wise House contains 950m2 of offices and research laboratories, as well as a 650m2 archive and material deposit in the roof

The Hunchbacked House includes 650m2 of small auditoriums, research laboratories and offices divided on the 4th to 7th floors of the building.

The Grumpy Twin Towers have 1150m2 of research laboratories and offices for six professorships, as well as a 250m2 auditorium and another 250m2 of offices.

The Joker Block hosts 670m2 of offices for two big professorships and two auditoriums of 670m2 on the two last floors of the building.

The site is one of the most priviledged places of the campus. It enjoys a good position and an amazing view on the city. It is thus the core of the project and is kept free from any building. The idea is to make a public space, accessible to everyone and not to build a building where only a few priviledge people could benefit from.

On the site, the existing buildings are demolished and replaced by a wide open space composed of a largestrech of grass surrounded by the existing trees already present today. This void is meant to be as neutral as possible and thus completely flat. It enables a large flexibility of uses that could be imagined.

Project by: Anna Moroni

Studio Alex Lehnerer, ETH