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Plaza below the station concourse
Basic data
Location: Museumstrasse 1, 8021 Zurich
Opening: 1st October 1970
Sales area : approx. 16,700
Shops: approx. 180 (2020)
Turnover : 451 million francs (2015)
Owner : SBB , City of Zurich
Website: Shopville
Transport links
Railway station: Zurich main station
Stops: Bahnhofplatz / HB
Bahnhofquai / HB
Bahnhofstrasse / HB
Sihlquai / HB
S-Bahn : S 2 S 3 S 4 S 5 S 6 S 7 S 8 S 9 S 10 S 12 S 14 S 15 S 16 S 24 S 25 SN1 SN4 SN5 SN6 SN7 SN8 SN9
Tram : 3 4 6 7 10 11 13 14 17
Omnibus : 31 46 N1 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N13 433
Parking spaces : 176 (Sihlquai car park)

The Shopville (sometimes also written ShopVille or Shop-Ville , officially called ShopVille-RailCity ) is a spacious shopping arcade in Zurich that is open every day of the year. It was opened in 1970 under the Bahnhofplatz . In the absence of a name of its own, the term has also established itself for the subterranean levels of the main station that were added later . The Shopville comprises around 180 shops, restaurants and services. It is considered the most frequented building complex in Switzerland.

Offer and opening times

In Shopville you will find numerous restaurants and snack bars in addition to the usual branches for a shopping center. Around 50 of the 180 shops that have rented out are run by Migros , Valora and Candrian. According to information from the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), Shopville is frequented by around 450,000 people every day, surpassing all shopping centers in Switzerland. The oldest part of the extensive complex belongs to the city of Zurich, the parts that have been added since then belong to the SBB. They are marketed together as a complete system, while the management takes place separately. The City Vereinigung Zürich is responsible for this on the part of the city . Since the shops are not bound by the cantonal shop opening regulations, they are open 365 days a year (and therefore also on Sundays). Originally the shops were open according to the rule “from 7 to 7”, ie from 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening, later “from 8 to 8”. Due to the changing lifestyle, they have been opening at 9 a.m. since November 2003, while they close at 9 p.m. on weekdays and at 8 p.m. on weekends.


The name Shopville goes back to a competition held in 1970 by the tenants' association of the shops represented at the time. In January 2003, the SBB announced a new concept for the seven major national train stations (in addition to Zurich, Geneva , Lausanne , Bern , Basel , Lucerne and Winterthur ). The train stations should - where not already done - be rebuilt, expanded with shopping arcades based on the Zurich model and rented out for various events. This management concept already practiced in Zurich should now be brought together under the new RailCity brand , a newly created SBB Real Estate division .

After all of the Zurich media were already scoffing at the fact that the SBB were trying to reinvent the Shopville, the City of Zurich and the City Association also announced that, due to its high level of awareness, they were not thinking of renaming the Shopville. Before the planned renaming in 2004, the SBB went over the books again and finally presented the following solution: The underground shopping level was given the double name ShopVille-RailCity - with the understanding that the population only used the former anyway. Since then, the Shopville has been marketed by SBB with an ironic undertone under the motto “the only shopping center with its own central station”.


Development of the Shopville
yellow: first stage from 1970
green: expansion through new building at Museumstrasse station (1990)
red: expansion through new building at Löwenstrasse station (2014)

The oldest part of Shopville includes the “Bahnhofplatz” hall in the far south-east, which is 4.70 m below the Bahnhofplatz . It has existed since 1970 and belongs to the City of Zurich. There are entrances to the 11.60 m deep end station of the Sihltal-Zürich-Uetliberg-Bahn (SZU), to the tram stops Bahnhofplatz / HB and Bahnhofstrasse / HB as well as to the cross hall of the main train station. A comprehensive redesign took place from 2001 to 2003. Since then, the black granite floor and the glossy black sprayed ceiling have formed the background for the light architecture that dominates the room . The cubes of the staircases shine blue and yellow, the ceiling is supported by bright green supports, behind shimmering red exits the stairs lead down to the SZU train station. Along the edge of the room, a blue band makes the ceiling appear higher than it actually is. The glass fronts of the shops are grouped together by another strip of light. In the middle of the hall is the Züri-Brunnen , a cube-shaped light curtain with 740 nozzles.

The “Bahnhofstrasse” and “Löwenstrasse” passages adjoin the Bahnhofplatz hall. They are connected in the middle by the “Plaza” and lead north to the “State Museum” hall. These parts of the system were added in 1990 and are all at a depth of 7.30 m, so that at the southern end the height difference has to be overcome by ramps. The hall provides access to the S-Bahn station and the Bahnhofquai / HB tram stop . From the plaza you can either get to a small mezzanine at a depth of 3.70 m (location of the Zurich station church ) or directly to the historic station hall . Halls, passages, mezzanine and S-Bahn station all follow the same design concept, which creates a rigid order. Shop windows line up in a regular rhythm, framed by black and white striped marble panels. The floor pattern made of light and dark granite supports directions of movement and spatial sequences. In general, there are strong light-dark contrasts. Architecture, fittings and surfaces form a unit that is seldom so consistent in Swiss train station construction.

The third stage, completed in 2014, comprises the “Sihlpost” hall and the “Gessnerallee” and “Sihlquai” passages in the west of the facility. While the Gessnerallee passage provides an additional connection between the Bahnhofplatz and Landesmuseum halls, the Sihlpost hall is located above the western end of the Löwenstrasse through station for S-Bahn and long-distance traffic. The Sihlquai passage, on the one hand, connects the above-ground platforms at the end of the track hall, and on the other hand, it leads to the Sihlquai / HB and Sihlpost / HB tram stops at the north and south ends . While dark design motifs predominate in the two older parts of Shopville, here light dominates. There is light granite on the floor, the walls are covered with white enamel panels and the partially inclined ceiling is clad with white sheet metal. As a result, the rooms should appear well-lit because, unlike in the Plaza, there was no possibility of natural daylight entering.

There is a wide gap between the Gessnerallee and Sihlquai passages without shops or staircases, as the halls in this area cross under the river bed of the Sihl . Parallel to the Sihl, on its west side, runs a 191 m long and 25 m wide piece of road tunnel in north-south direction, which was started at the end of the 1980s and the shell was completed two decades later . To this day, the tunnel is not connected to the road network, which is why it is used as an exhibition space. It is planned to convert it into a cycle path with a bicycle parking facility, but the project has stalled.


Starting position

With the onset of mass motorization in the 1950s, the traffic situation in the vicinity of the main station began to deteriorate massively. Cars, trams and pedestrians increasingly hampered each other. The post-war urban planning followed the principle of the car-friendly city . For example, the station bridge was widened from 1950 to 1952 and the Bahnhofquai was moved into a tunnel under the axis Bahnhofplatz / Bahnhofbrücke in 1952/1953 . The municipal civil engineering department planned to lay all tram lines around the main train station in tunnels and to build a stop seven meters below the station square. This four-track tunnel station was a central part of the underground railway project , which envisaged tunnel sections totaling 21.15 km in length. However, the Tiefbahn failed in the urban referendum of April 1, 1962 with 63.0% no votes.

Only a few months later, a motion in the local council called for the construction of a pedestrian level under the station square. The through traffic and the trams should continue to be led across the station square. At the end of 1962, the city ​​council presented a project that met these requirements. The town planning commission criticized the planned removal of the Alfred Escher memorial and criticized the fact that the project did not bring about any definitive improvement in public transport. The project was then modified so that the monument could be preserved. On February 2, 1964, the voters of the City of Zurich approved a loan of CHF 13.95 million for the “reconstruction of the station square with the creation of an underground pedestrian floor” with a yes-vote of 76.5%.

Construction of the oldest part

Construction work (1970)
Old appearance of the Bahnhofplatz hall (1974)

After the groundbreaking in 1967, construction work was carried out in three stages. While trams and cars ran on makeshift rails and roads on the edge of the station square, the pedestrian passage was created in a huge open excavation. With regard to the planned Zurich subway , the project was expanded after construction began and the dimensions changed accordingly. As a preliminary construction work , side walls and central pillars of the future underground station were created . When the passage opened on October 1, 1970, the square had become a “pedestrian-free” zone and the Bahnhofplatz / HB tram stop became an island that could only be reached from below through the passage. It was also no longer possible to cross the square on foot. In order to increase acceptance among passers-by, the architects' office Gebrüder Pfister designed the underpass generously as a small shopping center - a new concept in Switzerland that was also established in other cities in the years to come.

For the first time in decades, the countless plans around the main train station had led to a concrete result. The numerous escalators in public spaces were a novelty and initially caused problems for older people in particular. The floor consisted of red-colored artificial stone slabs and was soon popularly nicknamed "Schwartenmagen". With regard to the underground, there was a radical change of opinion among the population after the growth euphoria of the 1960s. The project clearly failed on May 20, 1973 in referendums at cantonal and communal level. The subway station under the Shopville, which was at least partially built, was gradually forgotten in public.

RAF terror and drug scene

On November 19, 1979, the RAF terrorists Christian Klar , Rolf Clemens Wagner , Peter-Jürgen Boock and Henning Beer attacked the Swiss Volksbank branch on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich . To escape their pursuers, they fled down to Shopville. There there was a shooting with a single officer from the Zurich City Police , who was lying unconscious after a brief exchange of fire. A 56-year-old passer-by was fatally struck in the neck by a bullet, and a car driver was critically injured as she continued to flee. In the end, Wagner was caught, while the other bank robbers escaped with loot of CHF 213,000.

In 1986 the nearby Platzspitzpark developed into a meeting place for drug addicts . In winter and on rainy days, they kept going to Shopville to seek shelter from the weather. Large sections of the population increasingly found the open drug scene and the inaction of the authorities to be untenable. From mid-January 1992, increased police patrols took place around the main train station and the entrances to Shopville were closed with bars at night. After the complete closure of the Platzspitz on February 5, intensive police patrol activity prevented the drug scene from being re-established in the following weeks.

Expansion in two stages

On November 29, 1981, voters in the canton of Zurich approved the construction of the Zurich S-Bahn with a yes share of 73.8%. This included a through station under Museumstrasse on the north side of the main station. A little more than a year later, on February 27, 1983, they gave their approval for the extension of the SZU from Selnau station with a yes share of 67.5% ; The new terminus was the partially built and never used subway station under the Shopville. In 1983, the planners still assumed that a narrow pedestrian tunnel would be sufficient as a connection between the S-Bahn station and Shopville. However, new forecasts predicted a massive increase in passenger numbers. At the beginning of 1985, a widened pedestrian tunnel and in the middle a staircase to the station hall were planned. Finally, in mid-1985, the SBB presented the final solution: an H-shaped network of paths that forms the core of an extended shopping arcade connected to Shopville. They invited the architects already working at the main train station to a design competition, whose jury included Karljosef Schattner . In the end, the order went to the “General Design Institute” of the architects Robert Haussmann and Trix Haussmann-Högl . The Museumstrasse tunnel station went into operation on May 28, 1989, initially on a provisional basis for regional trains to Rapperswil and Bülach . The SZU extension opened on May 5, 1990; Three weeks later, on May 27, the Museumstrasse S-Bahn station and the Zurich S-Bahn were fully operational.

In the 1990s, the turnover of the shops in the older part of Shopville fell because the Bahnhofplatz could be crossed on foot again from 1992 and the new part made a generally more attractive impression. The less busy, confusing ends of the hall also turned out to be problematic. In 1996, as the owner, the city invited six architecture firms to draw up a renovation concept. Uninterrupted lines of sight were particularly required. In 1998, the jury unanimously recommended continuing Arnold and Vrendli Amsler's project, which impressed with its impressive lighting architecture. Likewise, all the shops should be placed on the edge of the passage and the confusing middle section should be redesigned into a wide space. In 2001 the city approved a loan of 50 million francs for the redesign and complete renovation of the facility. The work was completed in November 2003.

In 2002, the SBB held an architectural competition for the design of the underground Löwenstrasse station on the Altstetten – Zurich HB – Oerlikon cross-city line , which Jean-Pierre Dürig won. The project also included the Sihlpost hall above, the Gessnerallee passage and the Sihlquai passage. The latter actually existed since 1930 in the form of an urban underpass between Sihlquai and Kasernenstrasse, which was only connected to the above-ground platforms in the rail hall in 1990 through the construction of stairways. The widening of the Sihlquai passage from 10 to 35 m was brought forward thanks to advance financing by the canton and took place between 2005 and 2008. The through station Löwenstrasse was opened on June 15, 2014, initially provisionally for three S-Bahn lines. At the same time, the Shopville got its current size. The diameter line was also opened for long-distance traffic on October 26, 2015.


Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. Shopping Center Market Report Switzerland 2017. (PDF, 15.5 MB) Marcel Stoffel, 2020, p. 12 , accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  2. ^ Shops at Zurich HB in the ShopVille., 2020, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  3. a b Adi Kälin, Fabian Baumgartner, Florian Schoop: The hard fight for the commuter's favor. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , May 17, 2017, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  4. ShopVille Zurich main station. Zurich Tourism, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  5. ↑ Do you still shop in the Shop-Ville until 9 p.m.? Neue Zürcher Zeitung , November 11, 2004, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  6. SBB real estate as a cash cow. Swissinfo , January 15, 2003, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  7. Daniel on the wall: Chapter 5: After midnight. NZZ Folio , October 2010, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  8. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. Pp. 193-194.
  9. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. P. 167.
  10. AREV No. 1724/2019, revision and addition to the City of Zurich (SBB track field). (PDF, 36.5 MB) In: Inventory of listed buildings of supra-communal importance. Building Department of the Canton of Zurich, Office for Spatial Development, 2019, p. 3 , accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  11. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. P. 224.
  12. Matthias Scharrer: Bicycles are to run under Zurich main station from the end of 2014. Limmattaler Zeitung , July 18, 2012, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  13. opening in 2024? Start of construction of the Velotunnel at Zurich HB is delayed further. watson , June 13, 2019, accessed July 26, 2020 .
  14. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. Pp. 111-112.
  15. Chess the traffic chaos. (PDF, 2.8 MB), 1962, accessed on January 17, 2016 (brochure of the Pro Tiefbahn action committee).
  16. ^ Hans-Rudolf Galliker: Tramstadt - local public transport and urban development using the example of Zurich . Chronos, Zurich 1997, ISBN 3-905312-02-6 , p. 216 .
  17. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. P. 118.
  18. voting database. Presidential Department of the City of Zurich, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  19. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. Pp. 118-121.
  20. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. Pp. 119-121.
  21. a b Huber: Zurich main station. P. 193.
  22. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. P. 117.
  23. Michèle Schell: When the RAF robbed a bank in Zurich and fatal shots were fired in the Shop-Ville. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , November 19, 2019, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  24. ^ Bank robbery in Zurich: "The RAF was always very ruthless". Swiss Radio and Television , November 19, 2019, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  25. Christian Koller: 25 years ago: The closure of the “Needle Park”. Swiss Social Archives , October 27, 2017, accessed on July 26, 2020 .
  26. ^ Hobmeier: The Zurich S-Bahn. Pp. 10-11.
  27. ^ Hobmeier: The Zurich S-Bahn. Pp. 100-101.
  28. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. Pp. 164-165.
  29. a b Huber: Zurich main station. Pp. 202-203.
  30. ^ Huber: Zurich main station. P. 86.
  31. The diameter line is complete. Swiss radio and television , October 26, 2015, accessed on May 17, 2020 .