Swiss National Innovation Park




Department for Spatial Development, Building department of Canton Zurich


Dübendorf, Switzerland


Research, education, services, production, commercial, recreation, grastronomy, congress, housing


71 ha / GFA 680'600 sqm


Invited competition: 1st Prize. Commissioned for further development


Vogt Landschaftsarchitekten
IBV Hüsler AG
KEEAS Raumkonzepte
Keoto AG


Neue Zürcher Zeitung 27.08.2013
Tages Anzeiger 27.08.2014
SRF 27.08.2014
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 03.09.2014
Tages Anzeiger 03.09.2014
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 23.01.2015
Tages Anzeiger. 23.01.2015
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 12.02.2015
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 09.06.2015
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 29.06.2015
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 08.08.2015
Tages Anzeiger 10.09.2015
Tages Anzeiger 17.09.2015
Tages Anzeiger 05.10.2015
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 05.10.2015
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 18.08.2017

Swiss National Innovation Park, Hub Dübendorf –
Conclusion of urban study

The Innovation Park is a national infrastructure for securing a sustainable future for Switzerland. Just as the Air Force provided security of the air space, the Innovation Park should provide a space for science.

This requires strategy, structure and stability; the Innovation Park’s contents and topics must be defined; its planning and implementation processes guided and facilitated; and  finally, above all the political will is needed in order to move the project forward and enable its financial means.

The concept of the Innovation Park is built on three strategic principles: the Innovation Park achieves ideal spatial requirements by establishing a network not only of individuals but also of stakeholders from the branches of research, industry, and other related institutions. In order to achieve this, a concentration of uses and knowledge is necessary; condensing these in spatial density provides places of easier interaction.
An open-space concept results in balance to this density, providing  open space for “body, mind and soul.” This is made possible by the inclusion of the vast landscape space, which creates a counterpoint to the spatial density of the central built areas.

Innovation occurs through and between people. Innovation has a high value when creative people with specific skills inspire each other. In order to bring creative people together in one place, a strategy is required: resources (other people, knowledge, material, space, technology) must be made available, thus resulting in the possibility to combine them into something new. However, people also need a cultural context. The Innovation Park must be plugged into the surrounding area and existing networks.

Cities are places of interaction and hence for centuries, they are the sites where innovation occurs. An Innovation Park is an earmarked urban place, which aims to create a density of specialized interactions (“Innovation”) within  that specified space (“Park”). In addition to that, themes must be laid out. For example, Complex System Science could serve as a leitmotif.
The proposed mixed-use consists of anchor uses, business uses (Innovation Park in a narrower sense), housing, social infrastructure, corporate functions, special functions (e.g. a museum), regional functions (e.g. vocational school), infrastructure, and open spaces.

City Concept

The metropolitan area of Zürich, not to mention the entire  polycentric region of central Switzerland, already functions as an Innovation Park. Switzerland’s federal, liberal, and entrepreneurial values facilitate a high level of diversity and flexibility. However, focal points and clusters are often absent. This results in a lack of interconnectedness or high mobility costs.

The Innovation Park is located in the agglomeration rather than in a dense city center. However, the incubation of innovative processes requires concentration and density. How can urban elements become anchored to and linked within the spatial scale of the suburbs?

The Innovation Park stretches as an articulated band along the existing buildings, and is bordered by a parkway on the park side.  The parkway is a recognizable development feature that functions on the spatial scale of the agglomeration and serves as an address. It makes it possible to unbundle transportation, so that the inner part of the Innovation Park remains undisturbed by traffic and a pedestrian friendly level of density can be achieved.

The bands of park space, including the “Säntisblick,” cut through the band of buildings and facilitate public access to the Park and to the scale of the landscape. The inner part of the Innovation Park offers various open spaces from wide open park areas with quite areas for repose to smaller plazas and more active meeting places.

In Innovation Mall is located in the inner part of the zone. Designed as a pedestrian axis with an avenue and a tram, it is urban and dense. This will become a central meeting place, offering possibilities for networking and exchange. Companies located here can base their showrooms, exhibition spaces, or other marketing locations facing this axis, and the mall allows for interfacing with the public.

For large companies, the Innovation Parks offers large, connected building plots on the scale of the city periphery, which in extreme cases are only accessible by employees. In the building laws, the building plots could be assigned to companies. Parking and delivery options must be solved internally within the parcels. The connecting streets serve both as addresses and as delivery locations.

The Innovation Village lies on the outer side. This is a small-scale, strongly consistent commercial zone that should serve to simplify exchange. Courtyards provide open access. The buildings most likely will be developed and rented by investors.

The Museum Axis stretches from the entrance to the Fliegermuseum and is located next to the existing hangar buildings. This axis will be activated by various public uses and events. Anchor uses, a campus modul, and the Museum of Natural Systems position the Innovation Park on national and international scales. However, from the point of view of urban design, they are not absolutely required.

The result is an organized urban structure of various scales, which blends into the urban landscape of the Glattal valley.




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Urban Design

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HafenCity Elbbrückenquartier, Hamburg
Current state: masterplan and framework plan

Wilhelmsburg Elbinselquartier, Hamburg
Current state: masterplan, function plan and typology studies

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Current state: Study on mobility-infrastructure

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Current state: urban framework plan

Wil West, Kanton Thurgau
Current state: urban framework plan

Visp Sägematte, Valais
Current state: study

Urban framework plan for the city of Zug
Current state: recently completed

Urban System Research

SmartUse / Space, Growth and BigData
Current state: ongoing

Winterthur 2040
Current state: ongoing

Harvard University Graduate School of Design / The Industrious City
Current state: in preparation

Development strategy for 3 communities in the Kanton St. Gallen, Switzerland


Zürich office

Flüelastrasse 10 8048 Zürich Switzerland (Google Maps)
T. +41 (0)43 243 6313 F. +41 (0)43 243 6315

Kyoto office

Jimukinoueda bldg. 602 21 Sakaimachi Gojo-Takakurakado Shimogyoku Kyoto Japan
T. +81 (0)75 744 1503