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ZKB is supporting the construction of the sports centre
Financial foundation in place

Published: 29.06.2006 06:00
Modified: 28.06.2006 15:19
The ZKB Zürcher Kantonalbank is paying ETH 12 million for the construction of the sports centre on the Hönggerberg. The ETH Executive Board feels that other large companies should follow suit to allow the construction of more Science City buildings.

Peter Rüegg

The Members of the ETH Executive Board and the Board of Directors of the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) did not lose much time on 20 June 2006. After revealing the well-kept secret of who the sponsor for the new sports centre in Science City was, the contract sealing the deal was quickly signed. Better safe than sorry. The Bank is supporting the construction of the new movement and sports centre on the Science City campus with a donation of 12 million CHF. Furthermore, the ZKB is advancing the research activity of the ETH Institute for Human Movement Sciences over the coming five years with a further impressive sum.

Contributing to a healthier life

The ZKB saw its commitment as a contribution towards a healthier lifestyle, ZKB Vice President Martin Zollinger said to the media. Lack of exercise and poor diet were leading to obesity in children and to health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. "Meanwhile obesity has become one of the biggest problems and is possibly the most widespread disease in our society." The Institute for Human Movement Sciences at ETH was looking at this, exploring new ideas, supporting those affected and becoming involved in preventative measures. "The ZKB wants to make a contribution to this work", said Zollinger, "The research findings which we are supporting financially will be of direct benefit to the health of the population of Zurich." In addition to ETH staff and students and members of the ASVZ Academic Sports Association of Zurich, use of the sports facilities will also be open to ZKB customers and employees.

This transfer of research knowledge to the public domain was important for the decision of the ZKB to support ETH, Zollinger emphasised. "You see, practical research only has relevance when the findings can be put to good use." The partnership between ZKB and ETH would reinforce the networking of science, business and society. The Bank was also expecting to strengthen Zurich as a centre of research and education with its financial commitment. This was of vital interest to the Zurich business sector. "Both the city and the canton of Zurich, and therefore the population, will profit from this", the ZKB Vice President said.

A meeting point for science and the population

ETH President Ernst Hafen also praised the project as a "new meeting place for ETH and the City of Zurich".

Donald Tillman, Managing Director of the ETH Zurich Foundation (far left) and Ulrich Bremi (far right) did much of the work behind the scenes. The Executive Board with Gerhard Schmitt (2nd from left) and Ernst Hafen (2nd from right) are delighted with the gift from ZKB Vice President Martin Zollinger (centre).

The contract between ETH and ZKB would also secure various offers for the population. Courses and further education opportunities are planned among other things. Hafen is delighted about the Bank's support. The ZKB had recognised that with the help of ETH Zurich was not only a world-known financial community, but also grew into a hotbed of talent.

Start of construction in autumn

Construction of the sports centre is to begin in autumn 2006 following the demolition of the old hall. The sports centre is due to open in autumn 2008. The new building will be a modern training, sports and research centre with a triple gymnasium which will be able to accommodate 1000 spectators. Gerhard Schmitt, Vice President for Planning and Logistics said that ETH did not wish to simply throw up a building as quickly as possible. "It will be a construction, the likes of which have not yet been seen." The facade will also be used to generate energy, the flat roof would house tennis courts and an archery area. The building will be so well integrated into the scenery ensuring an unobstructed view of Science City from the forest. (1)

(1 cf. ETH Life report and pictures "Star on the Slope" (

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