The Masterplan philosophy

With the closing of ILFORD Imaging Switzerland in December 2013, the main activity on the industrial site disappeared. Soon, the owners of the site realized that the vacuum that was created offered the opportunity to launch a new and exciting venture.

Thanks to the residential development project on the east side of the site, the industrial zone can develop into a mixed activity area for work/living and connect with the residents and surrounding community.

As a result the team in place has decided to dedicate all its resources to support the development of existing companies on the site and attract new activities suited to the existing infrastructure. As such the Marly Innovation Center was created.

Why create a Masterplan?

The creation of the Masterplan by the management of the Marly Innovation Center, is the equivalent of a neighbourhood plan as part of an urban development project.

As the single owner of the entire site, the company has a high degree of flexibility to develop the property. However, we felt it was necessary to first develop a Masterplan in order to secure the development of a coherent concept that creates a symbiosis between the residential area the workplace. This concept is widely pursued in modern urban projects, but often not realized in practice. The MIC Masterplan was developed Destal Ingenieria based in Barcelona and Shanghai and directed by the architect Bernard Vichet, who is very familiar with the culture and environment of Fribourg as he lived and worked here for many years.

The residential area

In parallel to the Masterplan, a development project for the residential area, that will be created on the east side of the site, has been launched in close collaboration with the commune of Marly. This project is advancing rapidly and the result will be made public in early 2015. This new residential area, which still needs to be formalized in the zoning plan of the commune, will be respecting a number of key criteria in order to ensure a harmonious cohabitation of both the living area and the industrial zone.

Securing a place for Art and Culture

Next to ensuring the harmony between a living area and an industrial activity, the promoters of the Marly Innovation Center have the objective to make the site accessible for both cultural and artistic activities and to give an additional dimension to the project. Already today a number of artists are active on the site, but there are now very specific plans to secure dedicated areas where artists can thrive. In addition, an association (Cibachrome Association) has been created to preserve the history of Ilford on the site and to collect all relevant objects and documents that have been assembled by the former employees. In collaboration with the commune of Marly, this association will contribute to the cultural offering of the site and will form the stepping stone for the creation of a local museum.

Business center

To complement the well established companies on the site, the MIC has created the FlexOffice, which is a new service that can accommodate companies that wish to:

Public Transport

Today the industrial area is mainly reached by car for which a large parking area is available. The nearest bus stop, linking the central train station of Fribourg, is at about a 10 min walk from the site. However, to make the site even more accessible, talks have been started with the commune of Marly and the agglomeration in order to bring public transport even closer to the site. Considering the expected increase in traffic from both the industrial area as well the residential part, a durable mobility plan is being developed.



The 11 MIC sectors

The large industrial zone along the Gerine river offers a unique opportunity to bring a variety of businesses together, and that can collaborate together. The site has been partitioned in eleven distinct areas: 

Zone A – Artisan

For SMEs, active in the construction business it is often difficult to find suitable infrastructure. The MIC has the objective to offer them what they need. The companies can settle side by side on the site and have access to dedicated workshop areas, office space and display areas. 

Zone B – Industrial and warehousing

The wide open space that is available, allows for the construction of larger industrial projects that the region needs. Priority will be given to value creating activities that also encompass durable development.

Zone C – Services and tertiary

Along the Gerine river, new office space will be created that will offer a very attractive atmosphere with a beautiful view on the green surroundings and mountains.

Zone D – Laboratories and office space

In line with the history of Ciba and Ilford, we wish to attract researchers and chemists that can give an impulse to new economic development. 

Zone E – Reception and parking

Inside the MIC wants to offer a creative and quiet environment. Therefore, private cars will stay at the entrance parking and the connection with public transport will be further optimized. 

Zone F – High-tech zone and telecom towers

The hyper modern look of this area underlines the objective of MIC and the Fribourg economy to look towards the future

Zone G – Logistics center and e-commerce platform

We want to leverage the excellent existing installations, such as the large storage facilities used by Ilford. Due to their unique capabilities they offer, several demanding companies have established themselves in this area. 

Zone H – Healthcare area

The beautiful setting of the site is an ideal location for healthcare activities that require a peaceful environment, close to the city center and easy to access.

Zone I – Public area, recreation, workshops, museum space

This area will connect the future residential area with the industrial area on the west side. Here open spaces will be created to establish a restaurant and an area to create events during and after work hours. The arts and culture are a key dimension for the implementation of the vision of the MIC.

Zone J – Mechanical, electrical and metal workshops

Here also we will benefit from the excellent infrastructure that has remained on the site from the previous activities and they will serve all companies on the site.

Zone K – Open and covered recreation areas

Downstream on the Gerine river, this area will welcome people to this beautiful green space to enjoy and relax.