The concentration of the Canton of St. Gallen's emergency services into a single building demanded relocation into new premises. The new building is set within a green strip between the Klosterhof building and Moosbruggstrasse. This sensitive area is located at the end of an historic complex featuring a monastery (now housing government offices) and cathedral that are a World Heritage Site. The new building has not only respected this environment but has improved it, providing an impetus for the demolition of subsidiary structures that had cluttered the immediate area.
The new building is also a visual link to the embankment surrounding the cathedral and to the old city wall. The 24-hour emergency center — the point from which the canton's traffic system is also co-ordinated — takes the form of a plinth. With its heavy horizontal fluting, the building counters the gentle inclination of Moosbruggstrasse as it runs down from Karl's Tor. Along with its protruding, elliptical, pitched-glass roof, the plinth has been conceived as a sculpture, set against the historic backdrop. Optically, the building's intrusion into this traditional urban setting has been kept to a minimum. For security reasons, the building is also time-recessed below grade. For the roof, armored glass elements seven centimeters thick and weighing up to two tons are self-supporting along the curved ridge. Because this glazed roof covers the central space housing the electronic control systems, light and temperature control are essential.
A symmetrical system of rotating, arched tubes sets the position of articulated slats on each side of the roof, thus controlling daylight. Due to the gaps between the slats, the space cannot be completely darkened. This is the first use of a movable roof covering based on slats and a mechanical hoist system. The element has gone through various stages of development during the slow evolution of this structure. Here, the brise soleil is moved hydraulically up the outside of the structure by telescopic cylinders. With the Law Faculty Library in Zurich, on the other hand, the slats move beneath the roof.
1988 - 1998