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Start of renovation of UBS's head office and opening of a new, temporary branch
The complete renovation of UBS's head office on Bahnhofstrasse 45, Zurich, gets under way today. While having the necessary upgrades carried out on the premises, UBS is also taking the opportunity to fully renovate the building and bring it in line with future requirements. At the same time, UBS is opening a new, temporary branch on Pelikanstrasse.
Zurich, 5 October 2015 – Built in 1916 and expanded in 1953, UBS's head office on Bahnhofstrasse 45, Zurich, will undergo comprehensive renovation over the next three years. While having the necessary upgrades carried out on the premises, UBS is also taking the opportunity to fully renovate the building and enhance its impact on the urban environment. The concept for the renovation came from the general planning team EM2N Architekten AG and is the result of a two-stage architectural competition. The jury were won over not least by the Zurich architects' symbiotic combination of modern and traditional elements. Renovation of the building complex will be completed in 2018.
The renovation will make UBS's head office even better integrated in its urban setting. Plans are also in place to revitalize Münzhof with a café on Bahnhofstrasse. Attractive commercial space will be created on the ground floor along Bahnhofstrasse and Pelikanstrasse. In addition, UBS is planning to ensure long-term flexibility of use through the various independent entry points to the bank and the stores. Thomas Ulrich, UBS Regional Director Zurich, says: "Our modernized head office will breathe fresh life into the area in the center of Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse. The new design of the ground floor will also make the building more accessible to visitors. This investment underscores our commitment to our Zurich city site and our home market of Switzerland."
New, temporary branch on Pelikanstrasse 9a
The office on Bahnhofstrasse 45 will remain closed throughout the entire renovation period. The lobby, which is in a listed building, will be carefully renovated and brought in line with the latest advisory and design concept, which UBS has already largely implemented in all of its approximately 300 branches in Switzerland.
The new branch boasts a state-of-the-art design and generally offers the same capacities as the old one. "We look forward to welcoming our clients to our new, temporary branch at Pelikanstrasse 9a as of today," says Fritz Kunz, Branch Manager and Area Head Private Clients Zurich City. The branch has three counters and a 24-hour ATM zone. The client vault and gold and precious metals counter will still be accessible.
LEED building certification
UBS has a comprehensive environmental strategy and is committed to securing LEED Platinum certification for the renovated building – the highest level according to the international standard for environmentally friendly, resource-efficient and sustainable building.
UBS is therefore renovating the shell and technology of the listed building from an energy standpoint so as to significantly reduce future energy consumption. Care will also be taken to use mainly environmentally friendly and low-pollutant construction materials. As a result of the comprehensive renovation, the building will be made more pleasant for future users.
"Ways to Fortune" – digital art for communicating with UBS clients
The digital artwork "Ways to Fortune" by artist Daniel Boschung offers clients visiting the new branch a very special experience and communicates with them in a new, experimental, way. The installation lets UBS clients at the Pelikanstrasse branch create their own individual artwork, while tying in the philanthropic concept of the UBS Optimus Foundation. "Ways to Fortune" is a gift from UBS Switzerland AG to the Optimus Foundation – the international foundation of UBS dedicated to the health, schooling and protection of children worldwide.
As clients travel along the "Ways to Fortune," from the lobby on the ground floor to the upper floor, they create an individual pattern in various colors and shapes based on how they walk. This image is projected in real time on the large screens in the lobby. As a memento, UBS clients are given a personalized card with the image they created, which also tells them about how they can invest in children's future through the Optimus Foundation.
"The aim of this artwork is to break out of conventional patterns in a positive and personalized way, since people are particularly good at remembering information that is relevant to them," explained Boschung, the artist who developed the installation and technology behind the artwork over the course of six months. Boschung focuses on the interaction between man and machine and the transition from the analog to the digital age. Before starting his career as an artist, he worked as a commercial photographer and photojournalist. His images have been published in Bilanz, Manager Magazin and Deo-Saison, among others.