The gastronomic pavilion at the ETH Hönggerberg has been conceived as a prism that serves as an architectural filter between the campus and the landscape and serves as a meeting point for teachers, visitors, employees and students, as well as a reception place for international guests. On the south side opening to the campus and on the north side allowing to enjoy a beautiful view over the wide landscape, the building has an open and flexible structure and its series of wood porticoes form an elegant hall.
Without providing any formal or constructive exaggeration, the new building presents itself as a simple and elegant volume made of wood and glass. Its entire structure is made of prefabricated wood elements and therefore it is completely demountable. The large windows between the series of wooden porticoes can all be widely opened, their frames are made of aluminum painted in white. Between the porticoes comfortable niches are being created which offer the guests privacy and are also a place to enjoy a meal on the interior-exterior threshold.
The construction provides two floors. The upper floor contains the restaurant which, thanks to its large window front, is like a view point over the landscape and over the woods of “Hönggerberg". The lower floor which is only visible from the northern side contains all technical spaces, i.e. the kitchen, the storage of food, all the different technical rooms and the restrooms which can be reached by the staircase. On the main floor there is also a wide terrace towards the south. All along its front the white awnings not only protect from the sun but also create an inviting atmosphere for all the guests coming from the campus. The building is structured as a white prism with a great transparency thanks to its glass construction, in the interior guests feel a warm and domestic ambiance created by its wood construction and the elegant textile furniture.
The organization of the public space on the main floor is structured by a central construction, the core of the restaurant which divides the space into three different ambiances: the coffee bar, the bistro and the main restaurant and event-room. The technical heart of the restaurant, a white oak wood construction, contains the bar, the kitchen à la minute and the vertical connection.
The location of the coffee bar on the southwest side near the main street of the campus is purposely chosen as the coffee bar apt to become the main place of contact, communication and meeting. The bistro, in the north-east of the building, is a linear space which opens to the kitchen on one side and to the view over the landscape on the other. Its proportion allows a division into different smaller sections to accommodate groups. The restaurant à la carte, a large flexible space on the west-side of the building, can be combined with the other parts of the restaurant. The pieces of furniture have been designed specifically for this ambiance and they are all removable. This allows a flexible use of the whole space and it can be used for many different activities, such as aperitifs, dinner parties, concerts, lectures or expositions.