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MFO Park, Oerlikon, Switzerland

Hall planted with greenery as a generous urban living space 


Trendsetting and with an outstanding design: The MFO Park on the grounds of the Oerlikon machinery factory in the North of Zurich is a successful synthesis between landscape design, architecture and engineering skill. The construction project that is unique for Switzerland – a 100 metre long, 35 metre wide and 17 metre high open hall that is growing to become a multi-storey park landscape – was dedicated in July of 2002. Along the light, delicate steel and wire rope construction, 1,300 climbing plants of various different kinds are burgeoning and over the course of the years will form green and blooming walls and roofs for pergolas, balconies, colonnades and garden rooms. At night, the vast public gazebo is transformed into a three-dimensional illuminant thanks to a sophisticated lighting concept. 
A Radical Greening Concept 

In collaboration with the Jakob Rope Systems wire rope factory in Trubschachen, a special climbing support system was developed in a three-year project for the greening of the MFO Park. Wire ropes integrated in the steel framework play a central role in this project realised by the architects Burckhardt + Partner in Zurich and the Randerschall Landschaftsarchitekten AG in Meilen and commissioned by Grün Stadt Zürich, an office of Zurich’s civil engineering department. 

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Innovative Solutions

Climbing supports for façade greening are a speciality of Jakob Rope Systems. Our standard Green Solutions system offers a wealth of technically sophisticated and ecologically significant design and combination possibilities. The climbing support system for the MFO Park presented our engineers with a completely new challenge: After working out a greening concept, various rope technologies were tested on an open-air model until the ideal solution was found. A fan-shaped, single-rope system was employed with crossing stainless steel ropes in which the mix expands as it moves up. 

Exceptional Technologies 

The “Park House” is a twin-walled, delicate construction made of steel girders and ropes covered inside and out and on the roof with a climbing support which is open at the front and also contains openings in the side walls. The external primary ropes bear the loads and were tensioned in one piece as 100 m long ropes. The inner, fine ropes for the plants are interrupted (length: 4.20 m) and form a mesh size of 50 cm which then decreases radically. Adequate solutions were also needed for the anchor points. The ropes are tensioned with droop comparable to that of a fabric. 

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