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THE CIRCLE at Zürich Airport
The competition program made the following requirements.

Swissness: The Circle at Zurich Airport is to express in its compact spaces not only the high standard of living in Switzerland but the beauty of contemporary Switzerland.

Surprise: The Circle at Zurich Airport is to be full of surprises and to inspire visitors and users. Spaces are to be created that will delight visitors by a distinctive combination of extraordinary services and diverse and changing perspectives.

Connections to the World: The Circle at Zurich Airport is to be as comfortable as home for cosmopolitan international travelers. To be connected to the rest of the world means being a place where people from all over the world meet and services responsive to their needs are provided.

Design Outline
Concept

1. Swissness

What is Swissness? We architects were asked to answer that question. Swissness is precision. That is our belief. We believe that precision is the outstanding characteristic of Swiss design, from small objects such as watches to large objects such as buildings. Its precision has special significance in the world not only in design but in economic service systems symbolized by insurance and banks, political and administrative systems and medical technology. We believe Swissness, even before it is made manifest in form, is a way of thinking developed over time by the people of Switzerland. We want to give thorough expression to that Swiss precision. This architecture of extremely slender columns is a symbol of that Swissness. The columns, made extremely slender through PC construction technology, will produce an architecture of unprecedented delicacy.

2. A New Town, the Circle

The Circle is neither a nineteenth-century city nor a twentieth-century city intended for rational and economic ends but an entirely new city for the new lifestyles of the twenty-first century. There are bound to be new ways to enjoy a city that are completely different from the ways of the past. This is a city for everyday life as well as for special ways of life and special events. People gather from around the world to experience those special ways of life and special events. However, this is neither a fictional community such as Disneyland nor a town organized solely for consumption but a creative city that will exert a powerful influence on the rest of the world.

3. Divers(c)ity

The medieval cities of Switzerland that are the actual centers of everyday life for people today are extremely flexible precisely because they retain their old structures. They may be used at times as a restaurant and at other times as a brand shop, and at still other times as a comfortable hotel. Two adjacent buildings may be used as one. Though their structure and design may remain unchanged, they can be used in an extremely flexible way because an extremely close relationship is established between urban infrastructure and architecture. That is the secret to their great durability. The Circle too is such a city. We would like to re-create the structure of a medieval city with entirely new technology, construction methods and design. Though it will be an entirely new design, it will seem somehow familiar to visitors.

-THE CIRCLE Official Website-
Site area
37,000 ㎡
Floor area
200,000 ㎡
Structure
PC+RC, Steel
construction
2019.