“Standortmosaik Zürich” or The Ecology of Access

Jane Jacobs once famously wrote that cities are as natural as “colonies of prairie dogs or beds of oysters”. Cities thus are just the latest of evolution’s transformation of the environment by natural organisms – us. And our most urgent need is access.

In cities we find jobs, meet people, enjoy culture, get in contact with ideas or purchase the things we need for daily life. Cities are catalysts for human interactions the sum of which we variously call economy, culture or public life. Cities are defined by an ecology of access.

We experience the degree of accessibility, the sense of mobility and ease with which we satisfy our needs, as quality of life. Borrowing a term from plant sociology we speak of a “Standortmosaik”, the diverse mix of places formed by locational factors resulting in spatial diversity, mix of social milieus or synergy between different value chains which economists refer to as “quality of location”.

Accessibility in cities is a function of proximity, functional diversity and infrastructure. Contemporary cities are formed by increasingly powerful infrastructures. City and countryside are merging into the urban landscape of the metropolitan region. Such a region is defined by function and the division of work of its constituent, coopetitive parts. As a whole it competes in the global market of locations.

Transcending administrative boundaries and individual agendas, metropolitan regions are difficult to plan. The “image of the region” which we developed for the “Metropolitankonferenz Zürich” aims to communicate the features of this region to a diverse group of stakeholders and give its planning a strategic base.

We describe the image as the combination of structure, gestalt and form: The structure of the region is defined by the terrain, by zoning and most importantly infrastructure. Structure is controlled by the spatial and infrastructure planning of the cantons. Its gestalt is based on the identities of the different villages, quarters or neighborhoods, and their potential for change. This potential we defined by reserves of building land and transport capacity, and by the elasticity of a local identity when changing. Form is in the domain of the architects or landscape architects and includes public spaces, parks, streets or landmark buildings.

The metropolitan region thus is seen as an archipelago of form in a sea of gestalt organized by the currents of structure.

Schaefer, Markus: “’Standortmosaik Zürich’ or The Ecology of Access” in: Anthos 2/2011, June 2011

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Projects

Architecture

Primary School Christoph Merian, Basel, 2019 –
Current phase: construction project

Airport Engadine, St. Moritz, 2020 –
Current phase: construction project

Mobility Hub, Zug, 2019 –
Future Parking Facility with retail component
Current phase: execution

Station Square and Roof, Herisau 2015 –
Current phase: public vote

MEWA-Areal, Wädenswil, 2018 –
Transformation Project from the former industrial estate to the mixed-use development with housing
Current phase: framework plan

Viererfeld, Bern, 2018 –
Housing
Current phase: on hold

Office Renovation, Zug, 2020 –
Current phase: execution

House Renovation, Zug, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary planning

Wilhelmsburg Rowing Club, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary planning

Cooperative Housing, Wetzikon, 2020 –
Current phase: preliminary planning

Urban Design

Salina Raurica / Salinenhofquartier, Pratteln, 2018 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Metalli, Zug, 2017 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Tech Cluster Zug, 2015 –
Current state: transformation plan

Elbinselquartier Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, 2015 –
Current state: design guidelines

Bahnstadt Nürtingen, 2017 –
Current state: design manual

Urban Space Development Concept for SBB Basel Station, 2018 –
Current state: public consultation

KNZ Wil West, Thurgau / St. Gallen, 2011 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Station Area Dietikon, 2019 –
Current state: study with recommendation for further development

Areal Dübendorf, 2020 –
Current state: study

Areal Oerlikon, 2020 –
Current state: study

Areal Dierikon, 2015 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Station Herisau, 2013 –
Current state: areal development

Innovation Park Bergedorf, 2020 –
Current state: urban framework

Seetalstrasse Meierhöfli Emmen, 2020 –
Current state: test planning

ZHA, Boulevard, Hönggerberg Campus, 2020 –
Current state: ongoing (with Studio Vulkan)

Herrliberg-Feldmeilen station, 2020 –
Current state: study

Port City Riga, 2020 –
Current state: Urban design commission

Wankdorffeldstrasse, Bern, 2020 –
Current state: urban design study

St-Karli Brückenköpfe und Reussinsel, Luzern, 2020 –
Current state: urban design study

Campus Bochum, 2018 –
Current state: urban framework plan

Masterplan HB / Central 2050, Zurich, 2020 –
Current state: test planing (with Studio Vulkan)

Urban System Research

cividi gmbh – civic data intelligence, 2019 –
Digital tools for the analogue city
Current state: ongoing

The Industrious City – Book Publication, 2017 –
(Lars Müller Publishers)
Published in fall 2020

Workplace Area Development, Winterthur, 2019 –
Current state: ongoing

Network strategy 2040 and
future public transport 2050, Zurich, 2020 –
Current state: ongoing (with IBV Hüsler)

Contact

Zürich office

Flüelastrasse 10, 8048 Zürich, Switzerland (Google Maps)
T. +41 43 243 6313F. +41 43 243 6315
office@hosoyaschaefer.com

Kyoto office

Jimukinoueda bldg. 603, 21 Sakaicho, Gojo-Takakurakado, Shimogyoku, Kyoto 600-819, Japan
T. +81 75 744 1503
office@hosoyaschaefer.com