The Globus temporary building near Zurich’s main station was built for eight years as a provisional solution. Now it has been standing for over sixty years. And it has been highly controversial for decades. So far, all reconstruction plans have failed, but now there are new visions for the site in the centre of Zurich, as SRF’s “Schweiz aktuell” recently reported.

A group of sixty residents, experts and politicians had reflected on the future of the building. The conclusion: the temporary building should no longer exist in its current form, writes SRF on its website.

More green and open spaces are planned

“Pure conservation of the building was not the first priority in the discussion,” says Katrin Gügler as director of the Office of Urban Development. However, the so-called Forum Papierwerd cannot imagine a demolition and complete new construction either. “Tabula rasa did not receive broad support.”

Instead, the group could conceivably redesign the temporary building, they say. Parts of the building should continue to be used. “It’s about a kind of securing of traces in the sense of history,” says Gügler. The group would also like to see more green spaces and open spaces.

Diese Variante hält an der Struktur des Globus-Provisoriums fest. Gleichzeitig entsteht ein Park mit mehr Freiräumen. Quelle: Stadt Zürich

This variant retains the structure of the Globus temporary building. At the same time, a park with more open spaces is created. Source: City of Zurich

The collection of ideas is another step towards finding a solution for the polarising building. “Hardly any other building in the city of Zurich has been discussed, argued and written about more.” the city council stated a few years ago. Some see the building as an eyesore, for others it is an important testimony to the times.

Blick auf die Bahnhofbrücke, den Bahnhof und das Schweizerische Landesmuseum in Zürich um 1920. Links ist das Warenhaus Globus zu sehen. Quelle: Keystone/Photoglob

View of the station bridge, the railway station and the Swiss National Museum in Zurich around 1920. The Globus department stores’ can be seen on the left. Source: Keystone/Photoglob

The SRF feature also gives a good overview of the long, chequered history of the area and its role in the 68 riots.