Einstein’s office is earthquake-proof

The neoclassical building SOC at Rämistrasse 69 was inaugurated in 1885 as cantonal physics building at the University of Zurich, where Albert Einstein had his office a short time later while working at UZH. His former office is on the ground floor, which was last used by the Medical History Museum. Since 2017, the building has been converted into a location for the “Digital Society Initiative” (DSI) as part of a renovation and retrofit project on behalf of the Hochbauamt Kanton Zürich. In the future, an interdisciplinary research group at UZH will investigate the effects of digitization on society and science.

As part of the general planning team around GFA Gruppe für Architektur, Lüchinger+Meyer was responsible for the structural engineering. The focus here was on the design and implementation of extensive retrofitting interventions to ensure the earthquake safety of the building. For example, new multistory concrete walls were built, existing walls were reinforced with carbon fiber laminates, or door openings that were already closed were provided with a force-fitting brick lining.
We were happy to accept GFA’s invitation to visit the almost completed new premises on October 3 and convince ourselves of the successful outcome of the project, in which the existence of the extensive engineering interventions is almost completely hidden (which is why we like to present them here with a small series of photos).