Water Police Station

WAPO

Water Police Station, Zurich, 2012-2015

The left bank of the lake is characterized by a series of individual spatial compartments. The location of the water police at Mythenquai is exactly on the perimeter of two such compartments: the promontory occupied by the Zurich Rowing Club and the docks of Mythenquai Harbor. This moment of transition became an opportunity to set the new water police building precisely between the existing promontory and a new dock, in order to lend this new function a clearly defined sense of place. Because of the elongated building volume and simple organization of the ground floor, a precisely drafted transition emerges as a forecourt between the Polytechnic Rowing Club and the wide sidewalk of the Mythenquai parking lot. The side gallery, oriented towards the city, is formulated as private and self-contained access solely for personnel. A public stairway leading to the upper level faces towards the rowing club. Through the artful positioning of the new building, all existing tree plantings remain intact, which substantially increases and improves the constrained exterior space. The Polytechnic Rowing Club buildings also benefit from this release.
 
Ideal operational procedures, short pathways, and a simple orientation characterize the design; forgoing a basement floor improves the economy as well as the efficiency of the new construction. Spatial and logistical dependencies are organized directly adjacent to one another. The new building is, in principle, divided into two horizontal zones and a mezzanine. The ground floor accommodates an enclosed storage facility for boats and a garage for commercial vehicles. In between, the insulated core contains vertical circulation, which connects the coat closet with the wet rooms and service rooms for diving operations. There is no basement of any kind. The garage is planned as a workshop with excessively high ceilings, allowing the possibility to implement a crane system.

The upper story contains the offices for Special Services, the work and living spaces for watch personnel, the public area for clients with a separate entrance from the exterior, and the
commando room providing unhindered panoramas of the Lake Zurich basin. Through the organization of these elements on one floor, communication remains simple and direct, concise and accessible. Between the ground floor and upper floor, a mezzanine is introduced to contain mechanical rooms, storage space, and separated relaxation rooms. This has the advantage of placing mechanical processes in the heart of the building, which leads to short and efficient paths for media installations, and allows the relaxation rooms to remain protected from noise generated by the watch and office staff.
 
Thus, the building reacts to the individually defined operational sequences of the water police. While all of the “wet” processes after a diving excursion take place on the ground floor, the rest of the program, with the exception of mechanical rooms and relaxation rooms, is conducted on one level in the upper story. The shortest and most direct possible connections to individual stations of different processes – an operation, a public tour, or the detainment of a possible suspect – guarantee that these events can occur without disruption or intersection.

Thus, the building reacts to the individually defined operational sequences of the water police. While all of the “wet” processes after a diving excursion take place on the ground floor, the rest of the program, with the exception of mechanical rooms and relaxation rooms, is conducted on one level in the upper story. The shortest and most direct possible connections to individual stations of different processes – an operation, a public tour, or the detainment of a possible suspect – guarantee that these events can occur without disruption or intersection.
 
Due to a high level of prefabrication as well as simplicity of construction, the building can be executed extremely cost-effectively. Precast concrete columns are erected on site and strongly connected through the ceiling over the elevated ground floor. The loads bearing directly on the exterior structural system render a proprietary static solution unnecessary. Every element of the façade as well as the ribbed ceiling slabs is prefabricated off-site and is merely mounted into the existing steel framework.
 
As little gray energy as possible will be used during the construction of the new building. To this end, the column grid has been economized to minimize the structural effort in relation to the require floor area.

Structural elements of concrete and the in-situ concrete of the floors and ceilings will be implemented, wherever possible, in recycled concrete and CO2-poor cement. . The façade bracing elements and window frames are planned with engineered timber.
 
The framed-construction structural system with prefabricated columns permits a maximum flexibility of use in all floors of the building.
The utility lines will all be installed above ground. Ecological aspects are also taken into consideration with the use of recycled concrete and steel (100% recyclable) for the structural system. Aside from the prefabricated concrete columns, the entire load carrying system will be completed with recycled concrete, which amounts to over 80% recycled material.
 
The new construction for the water police will be implemented robustly; the vertical, concrete pillars appear from the outside and align the simple concrete volume, in which a wooden corpus is placed.

These two volumes are differentiated on the ground level by their side galleries or arcades, which create the respective addresses and entrances.

The façade concept lends the building an appropriate gracefulness to meet the expectations of a public building without neglecting practicality.

The rigidity of the façade dissolves towards the lake to allow the commando room clear views over the lake basin. The grid of the façade was increased and depth and dimension of the materials were selected to allow a great degree of flexibility for the office structure contained within. The internal logic of the building is thus simply and directly legible from the inside out.

Water Police Station

2015
Restricted Competition 
2012
, 1st prize
Address: 
Mythenquai,
8002 Zurich,
Switzerland
Client: 
City of Zurich, represented by the Building Department
Realization:
2012 – 2015
Team:
Piet Eckert, Wim Eckert with Carl C. Paatz and Mirko Akermann; Competition Team: Piet Eckert, Wim Eckert with Sebastian F. Lippok and Ove Jacobsen, Eckart Breilmann, Kamil Hajji
Collaboration: 

ARGE E2A/B+P: E2A Piet Eckert und Wim Eckert Architekten ETH BSA SIA AG, Zurich; B+P Baurealisation AG, Zurich
Building Engineering: Gruner + Wepf Ingenieure AG, Zurich