While debate and indecision over the UK’s airport policy continues, a groundbreaking new ‘airport city’ project, The Circle at Zurich Airport, has received legally-binding building permission from the Swiss government.
Provided that all conditions are met, construction of this ambitious, high concept mixed-use development will commence in 2013, with the aim of creating Europe’s premium international business hub.
Set for completion in 2017 and costing approximately CHF1 billion, The Circle at Zurich Airport will be one of Europe’s largest construction projects, with a utilisable area of some 200,000m2.
Taking its name from its exceptional location, nestled between the rounded contours of the idyllic natural landmark of Butzenbüel hill and the airport itself, The Circle at Zurich Airport will combine an intelligent modular design, ingenious infrastructure, unrivalled global connectivity and world-class architecture to take the ‘airport city’ concept to a whole new level.
It will provide a platform for connecting the world’s leading service providers with discerning customers from all corners of the globe, in a modern, urbane and quintessentially Swiss environment.
Its visionary mixed-use design is based on seven autonomous yet complementary modules; customers will benefit from the synergies of a compact, easily accessible complex - just a few minutes’ walk from the airport’s main terminal - comprising hotels, conference and event facilities, restaurants, and a health and beauty centre as well as offices and headquarters.
Beating over 90 high-calibre entries, including the UK’s renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, the design by Japanese architectural firm Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop promises to become a cornerstone of Zurich’s architectural landscape.
While the dramatic, curved sweep of the exterior complements the contemporary forms of the existing airport, The Circle’s interior is a cosmopolitan, urban setting punctuated by thoroughfares, squares and lanes reminiscent of Zurich’s historic Niederdorf quarter.
A glass roof bathes the ground level in natural light, lending additional ambient quality to the varied, flexible spaces beneath.
The seven modules which will make up The Circle are: Brands & Dialogue; Counsel & Services; Education & Knowledge; Events & Culture; Headquarters & Offices; Health & Beauty; and Hotels.
Management agreements have already been signed with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, with the international hotel brand set to manage two hotels - a Hyatt Regency and a Hyatt Place – within The Circle, providing a total of 550 guest rooms as well as convention facilities for 1,500 people.