Industrial district

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Coat of arms of the industrial quarter
Coat of arms of Zurich
district of Zurich
Map of industrial district
Coordinates 681 754  /  249083 coordinates: 47 ° 23 '15 "  N , 8 ° 31' 17"  O ; CH1903:  681 754  /  249083
surface 1.99 km²
Residents 15,579 (2018)
Population density 7829 inhabitants / km²
circle 5

Industriequartier ( District 5 ) is an urban district of the city of Zurich in Switzerland .

Factories in the quarter in 1932: aerial photo by Walter Mittelholzer

The formerly independent community of Aussersihl was incorporated into the city in 1893 and brought the industrial district that had been split off from it into the city, which forms today's District 5 . Administratively, the industrial quarter is divided by the statistical office into the two administrative units ( quarters ) Gewerbeschule (upper district 5) and Escher Wyss (lower district 5).

The urban district was created in 1913 by dividing what was then district III into three districts 3 (Wiedikon) , 4 (Aussersihl-Hard) and 5 (industry). With the second incorporation in 1934, the then undeveloped Grünau was separated and Altstetten was added.

coat of arms

Industrial district
The decisive mural on the gym of the Kornhausbrücke school building (see text).


A black gear in silver

The district coat of arms was created as part of a competition. There were two proposals: a mill wheel and a gear wheel . The mill wheel was chosen. However, since the cogwheel coat of arms had already been painted on the wall when the Kornhausbrücke schoolhouse was being built, the decision was taken back.


Church tower of the Catholic Church of St. Joseph

The industrial quarter stretches from the Mittleren Kräuel south of the confluence of the Limmat and Sihl to the Hardegg along the Limmat, bounded by the large track field of the Zurich front and freight station in the south and the Limmat in the north.


Today, 15,579 people live in District 5 (as of 2018). The industrial quarter was an immigration quarter from the start. Accordingly, the linguistic and religious statistics also show corresponding fluctuations.


1992 2001 2002 District 5 Trade. Escher W.
Reformed 2506 2753 2889 23.3% 22.4% 26.7%
Catholics 5134 3996 4086 32.9% 33.6% 30.2%
other and without 43.8% 44.0% 43.0%

There are the following churches and ecclesiastical rooms in the industrial quarter:

  • The Evangelical Reformed Church is represented on Limmatstrasse by the Johanneskirche . It was built in the years 1897–1898 according to plans by the architect Paul Reber . The church has one of the oldest organs in the city of Zurich, an instrument built in 1898 by the organ builder Th. Kuhn , Männedorf.
  • The Roman Catholic Church is represented in the industrial quarter on Röntgenstrasse with the Church of St. Josef . The church was built in the years 1912-1914 according to plans by the architects Robert Curjel and Karl Moser . The name of the neo-baroque church refers to St. Joseph , the father of Jesus, who is presented in the Bible as a building craftsman and thus has a direct connection to the workers in the neighborhood.
  • In addition, since 2010 the Catholic Church has been operating the church area on the other side of the arches 11/12 of the Wipkinger railway viaduct , which is intended to be a meeting place for young people and young adults from all over the city.

The two parishes of the regional churches (Protestant-Ref. St. Johannes and Roman-Catholic St. Josef) are very involved in the life of the neighborhood. Sometimes they go it alone, sometimes together they organize numerous events. Thanks to the church tax, they have financial means. In doing so, they work closely with the neighborhood association . The St. Josef Church has spacious rooms that can also be used by other associations.

The Salvation Army has also been active in District 5 for many decades . A few steps away from Langstrasse, she runs a tea room for the needy.


View from Uetliberg to Hard and the industrial quarter (background)
(2002) Industrial district Trade school Escher Wyss
All in all 12,416 100.0% 9,900 100.0% 2,516 100.0%
Swiss 7,566 60.9% 5,748 58.1% 1,818 72.3%
Foreigners 4,850 39.1% 4,152 41.9% 698 27.7%
Italy 23.1% 17.8% 13.3%
Ex-Yugoslavia 13.1% 14.9% 16.2%
Germany 8.5% 8.7% 14.2%
Turkey 6.4% 6.9% o.A.
Rest of Europe 25.2% 27.7% 29.2%
Portugal o.A. o.A. 5.9%
Outside of Europe 23.6% 24.0% 21.2%
Population change since 1992 + 8.9% +1.0% + 57.0%
  • Swiss: 1,888 city citizens; 4,807 residents; 857 weekly residents; 14 others
  • Foreigners: 3,013 residents (C); 1,179 annual residents (B); 430 provisional admissions (F / N); 197 short-term residents (L); 31 others


District 5 sent 4 (previously 3) municipal councilors to the 125-strong municipal parliament, the municipal council. In the course of the 2004 constituency reform, constituencies 4 and 5 were merged to form cantonal constituency III. Since then, the former community of Aussersihl (districts 4 and 5) has been reunited at both cantonal and urban political level. Nothing has been changed at the administrative level (city districts or district offices). On February 12, 2006, municipal council elections were held for the first time in the united constituency, which has 13 seats.

Party strength in the former constituency 5 until 2002 (industrial quarter)
Political party 2002 1998 1994 1990 1986 1982 1978 1974 1970
AL / PdA 1 1
CVP 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
SP 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Party strength in constituencies 4 and 5 from 2006 (Aussersihl industry)
Political party 2010 2006 (2002)                              
AL / PdA 2 2 (2)
CVP 1 1 (1)
FDP 1 1 (1)
GP 2 2 (1)
GLP 2    
SVP 1 2 (2)
SP 4th 5 (6)

Economy and Infrastructure

View from the Hardbrücke on the Limmat with the tram depot at Escher-Wyss-Platz on the left side of the picture
Langstrasse (here in Aussersihl / Kreis 4) with a view towards Limmatplatz
The area around Limmatplatz, view from Waidberg

On the initiative of the local population, facilities such as Zone 5 , an amalgamation of shops and restaurants, were created; or the culture mile in the lower part of the circle. Today there are numerous small family businesses in the district. Of the big companies, only the Federation of Migros Cooperatives and the Stadtmühle (Swissmill) remain , and of the banks, only Migrosbank remains. Prostitution and drug trafficking could be curbed more in the area around Langstrasse in District 5 than in neighboring District 4.


An incomplete list of companies shows the structural change in recent years:

  • Reishauer AG (tooth flank grinding machine; today vocational school)
  • City Salt magazine (today vocational school)
  • Bananen AG (today vocational school)
  • City Kornhaus (today the Federation of Migros Cooperatives)
  • Drinking water filter systems (today the Museum of Design and HGKZ)
  • Escher Wyss AG (machine factory; today services, theater, apartments)
  • Schoeller AG (textile factory, today apartments [Limmatwest])
  • Steinfels Soaps (soaps, washing powder; today apartments, yoga studio, cinema)
  • Maag Zahnräder (now a planning area)
  • Stadtmühle (now called Swissmill)
  • Kattundruckerei Esslinger (today city kitchen; boat club)
  • City Gas supply (today interim use with studios, planning area)
  • Schoch + Co (hardware; today a bank)
  • Scrap iron trade (today apartments)
  • Grossmolkerei Milchverband Winterthur (today a disco and workplace for artists and SMEs )
  • Municipal gas works (now living, old people's home, registration office, district office 5, municipal administration and debt enforcement office, district guard, kindergarten)
  • Viaduct arches (previously: warehouse, trade; today: studios, shops)
  • Löwenbräu Zurich

Schools, colleges

In the past few decades, the canton and the city have housed a large number of vocational schools in the former industrial buildings:

  • Vocational School for Design Zurich
  • General Zurich vocational school
  • Kant. Vocational schools, general department
  • Training center for medical laboratory technicians (SRK)
  • Vocational school fashion and design
  • Construction trade school in Zurich
  • Technical vocational school in Zurich
  • Vocational school information technology
  • Automotive engineering vocational school
  • Vocational school gymnastics

The Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) is also located in the industrial district. In addition, the University of Wädenswil operates a branch in the Technopark .


Limmatplatz (before the construction of the striking roof of the square in 2006/2007)
Road traffic

In the 1980s, great efforts were made to protect the resident population from road traffic. Since then, Röntgenplatz has been car - free, Limmatplatz is only accessible in individual directions and residential streets have been set up. After 2000, Tempo 30 was introduced across the board.

The Hardbrücke, originally planned as a temporary measure, which crosses the city district in the middle, has now been in existence for over 45 years and is to continue to take over traffic from the northeast to the southwest. The Y-motorway planned in the 1960s, which is to connect the motorways from the directions of Bern (A1), Winterthur (A1) and Chur (A3), is discussed again every few years. According to the latest plans, the section Bern - Zurich (A1) is to be partially extended as an underground road via Pfingstweidstrasse - Escher Wyss-Platz - Sihlquai to Zurich main station, although there is political resistance to this.


On April 24, 1898, the Industriequartier-Strassenbahn (IStB) on the Bahnhofquai-Escher Wyss-Platz route was opened on a private initiative . The profitable line was bought by the city after a few years.

The municipal tram (St.St.Z.) operated three lines:

  • 4: Tiefenbrunnen station - main station - Escher Wyss-Platz - north bridge
  • 10: Rehalp - Central Station - Escher Wyss-Platz - Höngg - Wartau
  • 22: Escher Wyss-Platz - Hardturm sports field

During the construction of the Hardbrücke in the 1970s, the route to the north bridge was made impossible. The route network of today's Zurich Transport Authority (VBZ):

  • 4: Tiefenbrunnen - Bellevue - Central Station - Escher Wyss-Platz - Shipbuilding - Altstetten-Nord station
  • 8: Klusplatz - Bellevue - Hardplatz - Hardbrücke station - Escher Wyss-Platz - Hardturm
  • 13: Albisgüetli - Enge train station - Main train station - Escher Wyss-Platz - Höngg - Wartau - Frankental
  • 6: Zoo - ETH / University Hospital - Central Station - Escher Wyss-Platz - Hardturm - Werdhölzli
  • 32: Holzerhurd - Bucheggplatz - Limmatplatz - Kalkbreite / Wiedikon train station - Friesenberg - Road Traffic Office
  • 33: Tiefenbrunnen train station - Klusplatz - Schaffhauserplatz - Escher-Wyss-Platz - Albisriederplatz - Triemli
  • 72: Milchbuck - Escher-Wyss-Platz - Albisriederplatz - Wiedikon - Sihlcity North - Morgental
  • 83: Milchbuck - Escher-Wyss-Platz - Albisriederplatz - Kappeli - Altstetten station
Hardbrücke station at night

In 1847 the first railway separated District 5 from its mother community in Aussersihl . The construction of the Zurich - Oerlikon - Winterthur line from 1855–1856 brought an earth dam from the Langstrasse underpass in the location of today's Röntgenstrasse (with a single passage) towards Escher-Wyss-Platz and the ferry to Wipkingen . The less steep replacement line over the Aussersihl Viaduct and the right bank of the Zürichseebahn with the Letten Viaduct have been swinging over the circle for over a hundred years; since the 1970s also the Käferberg Viaduct and the Hardturm Viaduct .

Nearby train stations are Zurich main station and the Hardbrücke stop . The Letten station in Wipkingen was shut down on May 27, 1989.

The district is the location of the locomotive depot (Depot G) and the residence of many railway workers (houses of the SBB and various railway workers' cooperatives). The construction of a fourth railway viaduct across between the residential buildings was prevented in the 1990s. Instead, a more efficient tunnel was built from the main train station to Oerlikon.


The Escher Wyss machine factory on Escher Wyss-Platz 1930

On March 27, 1787, the community of Aussersihl was founded and separated from Wiedikon . Aussersihl grew rapidly and at times had more inhabitants than the city of Zurich. However, the municipality was not able to cope with the rapid growth, so that the rival city of Aussersihl and ten other municipalities had to ask the city of Zurich for incorporation, which was carried out on January 1, 1893. Aussersihl was divided into urban district III together with Wiedikon .

The construction of the Swiss Northern Railway (popularly Spanish Brötli Railway ) in 1847 cut the community of Aussersihl into two parts. With the further expansion of the railway, the separating track field grew in width and the only crossing on Langstrasse (originally Langfurren-Gasse) had over ten barriers. On the occasion of the revision of the city districts of 1913, this division, which had long been physically completed, was also carried out in terms of administrative policy: the city district III was divided into the new city districts 3 to 5, with Aussersihl again being separated from Wiedikon and the industrial district of Aussersihl divided by the immense track field and since then Circle 5 forms.

X-ray station with Colony Industry 2

While the official policy of the Swiss National Exhibition in 1893 and industry settled in what is now the trade school district , a workers' residential area developed from Limmatplatz to Hardstrasse.

With the second incorporation in 1934, the area of ​​the industrial quarter , which the still undeveloped Grünau , between Limmat and Gleisfeld, gave up to the new Altstetten quarter, became smaller . In a further revision of the city districts in 1971, the industrial quarter was divided by the statistical office of the city of Zurich into the two quarters of the Gewerbeschule and Escher Wyss, which have only statistical significance.

In the 1980s, the industrial sector began to change dramatically. A number of industrial companies merged, were bought up, went bankrupt, closed plants or moved away, also because of the large open drug scene. As a result, countless large industrial buildings that have been converted or demolished and replaced by new buildings since the 1990s, which has meanwhile created a lot of new living space. While many cooperatives based in District 5 and the municipal property management company offer affordable apartments, especially to families and the less well-off, the upswing led to a shift in focus. Many of the new buildings offer expensive apartments, which leads to an expansion by new sections of the population. Numerous bars and clubs sprang up in the 1990s, opening the district to a young and urban audience. Small apartments were often merged and re-let as a “loft” for a multiple of the original price. In a counter-movement, the squatters' movement occupied the Wohlgroth area from 1991 to 1993 .

Art, culture and sport

The development towards the trendy “Zurich West” quarter is also reflected in the cultural area.


Shipbuilding theater and culture center


  • Multiplex cinema Abaton (from 1993 to the end of 2005 Cinemax ) with 12 halls
  • Cinema / bar / bistro Riffraff (1913–1946 1 room, 1998–2002 2 rooms, since 2002 4 rooms)


  • Dozens of bars and clubs (numerous and changing)
  • Very large and varied range of restaurants with specialties from all over the world and in all price ranges


  • FC Industrie Turicum
  • A new football arena is planned on the site of the former Hardturm stadium .


District 5 owes most of its public collections to the Zurich University of the Arts

Historic trams run twice a month on the main train station - Escher-Wyss-Platz - Wartau route.


Apart from the school libraries, there is no library in the industrial quarter. Exceptions are the publicly accessible exhibition street library of the media and information center of the Zurich University of the Arts and the crime fiction library in the Schindlergut community center.


The Hardturm, the oldest secular building in the city of Zurich, is still inhabited by private individuals today.

The oldest secular building in the city of Zurich, the around 800-year-old Hardturm , is in the lower part of District 5. It was the family seat of the Manesse family, known as minstrels . It is private property and is inhabited.

The Catholic St. Joseph's Church was built by Karl Moser in 1912–1914 in a popular piety-Herz-Jesu style . The reformed St. John by Paul Reber was built in 1898 in neo-Gothic style based on the first drafts of the Landesmuseum architect Ramseyer.

Examples of modern architecture:

  • Workers' house settlement in the area of ​​Johannes-Gasse, so-called «Fierz-houses», named after their initiator, Johann Heinrich Fierz
  • Bernoulli houses in the Hardturm, well-known workers' row houses under the sign of the garden city movement 1924–1929 by Prof. Hans Bernoulli
  • Residential colonies, so-called “workers' castles” (courtyard overbuilding) on ​​Limmatstrasse, Josefstrasse, Röntgenstrasse, Albertstrasse
  • Limmat school building (1908–1926)
  • Limmathaus
  • Museum of Design Zurich and main building of the Zurich University of the Arts in the Bauhaus style

from the turn of the millennium:

  • X-ray area (colored living cubes)
  • Limmatwest (former Schoeller Hardturm textile factory )
  • generous urban buildings around the shipbuilding site



The upheaval from a workers' residential area and industrial location to a modern residential area close to the center and a vocational school location for the entire canton meant that fallow land repeatedly emerged over the years. These were used by cultural workers, and it was possible to establish a diverse cultural offer. This made the district, which was previously often avoided, attractive to broad social classes, which in turn strengthened the local population. From the red light district and the open drug scene in the late 1980s, almost nothing is left.


  • Alfred Ehrsam, Werner Helmuth: 100 years of Quartierverein Industriequartier. Zurich 1987.
  • Etienne Ruedin: New Year's Gazette Industriequartier; Immigration, Integration and Establishment of Catholics. CVP5 publisher, Zurich 2001.
  • Etienne Ruedin, Marcel Schönbächler: Neujahrsblatt Industriequartier; The railway viaduct from Aussersihl to Wipkingen. CVP5 publisher, Zurich 2002.
  • Robert Schönbächler, Schönbächler Roger: Neujahrsblatt Industriequartier; From the train station to the Hardturm. CVP5 publisher, Zurich 2003.
  • Robert Schönbächler: New Year's Gazette Industriequartier; Bridges, viaducts, underpasses and public transport. CVP5 publisher, Zurich 2004.
  • Robert Schönbächler: New Year's Gazette Industriequartier; The football stadiums Förrlibuck and Hardturm - yesterday until today. CVP5 publisher, Zurich 2005.
  • Robert Schönbächler: New Year's Gazette Industriequartier; Wipkingerviadukt SBB (Aussersihler Viaduct). CVP5 publisher, Zurich 2011.
  • Building Construction Department of the City of Zurich, Office for Urban Development: Aussersihl, Industry / Zurich West . Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung , Zurich 2004, ISBN 3-03823-072-3 ( Baukultur in Zurich, Volume III).

Web links

Commons : Industriequartier  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Districts and Quarters. In: City of Zurich. Presidential Department, accessed on August 1, 2019 .
  2. See the following: Robert Schönbächler: Churches and places of worship in the city of Zurich. New Year's Gazette Industriequartier / Aussersihl. Zurich 2013, pp. 8–15