About us

Since 2003, the building at Rämistrasse 74 has been the main quarter of the Faculty of Law. The project to build the new library was announced in 1989, but planning permission was not granted until July 2000. The project included the construction of the new library building in the courtyard, the addition of a roof and basement to the courtyard, the addition of two storeys to the north-west and north-east wings, the refurbishment of the entrance area, and modifications to the fabric of the existing building. The library was inagurated in November 2004.

Press releases (in German):

Einweihungsfeier: Der Himmel ist eine Bibliothek (21.11.2004)

Interview mit Santiago Calatrava: «Wissen ist schwerelos – das wollte ich sichtbar machen» (21.11.2004)

10 Jahre Calatrava-Bibliothek (Blog-Artikel vom 13.11.2014)

Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava, born in 1951 in Valencia, comes from a family of merchants. At thirteen, he went as an exchange student to Paris. In 1968 he returned to Valencia and studied at the Escuela Técnica de Superio Arcquitectura. In 1975 he enrolled at the ETH Zurich for a degree in civil engineering, graduating in 1981 with a thesis entitled "On the Foldability of Space Frames". He married a law student from Zürich and started his own architectural office. The renovation of the railway station station Stadelhofen in Zürich 1983 was his first major project.

Bridge constructions such as in Barcelona and Bilbao justify the international reputation of Santiago Calatrava. His projects include the Lyon Station, the Opera House in Tenerife, the Olympic Stadium in Athens, the "Turning Torso" in Malmö and the Transportation Hub at the new World Trade Center in New York. Santiago Calatrava is also known as a painter and sculptor. He has received numerous awards, including 19 honorary doctorates (until 2013).

Source: unijournal, Vol. 34, no. 5/2004, Wikipedia, last visited on 29th January 2015

Facts and figures

Details of the construction project and library building

Planning phase, construction: 1989–1999, 2000–2005
Contract awarded by: Structural Engineering Office (Hochbauamt), Building Department, Canton of Zurich
Architect, engineer: Santiago Calatrava
Cost: CHF 65 million
Surface area, volume: 4,375 m2, 24,000 m3
Area of courtyard: 720 m2
Domed roof: 36/15/8.2 m (length/width/height)
Height, weight of dome: 29.1 m, 120 t
Library stock and infrastructure
Books: Approx. 200,000
Periodicals, series: Approx. 600
Total shelf length: 5,000 m
Reading desks: 500 (WLAN-enabled)