A Japanese team of star architects – Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop – is the winner of the architectural competition launched by the Zurich Airport for “The Circle”. The project involves an upscale complex for innovative services within walking distance of the terminals. The airport operator owns land reserves with a developable, crescent-shaped area of 37,000 m² and a utilizable area of around 200,000 m² in compliance with Zurich’s zoning requirements.

The result was announced one year after the kickoff of the international architectural competition for “The Circle”. Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop, a Japanese architectural firm, was selected by a jury from over 90 high-caliber entries from twelve countries. As the next step, the draft will be further refined within the scope of a preliminary study to address the specific requirements of the owner. Subject to compliance with the specifications regarding cost-effectiveness, gestalt, and functionality, construction is scheduled to begin in 2012.

Thanks to the eloquence of its compact urban format, the winning proposal ‘Divers(C)ity’ is characterized primarily by Swiss understatement and high atmospheric quality. The concept allows tenants to present themselves with individual addresses in an expansive building complex. Additionally, the draft affords considerable flexibility with respect to configurability across the life span of the buildings.

The goal is explicitly not to build an additional shopping center, but rather to consistently establish Zurich Airport as a premium address for internationally ground-breaking service quality. Located at the intersection of international and regional transport networks, it will be a platform for discerning customers from all over the world and extraordinary service providers from interesting growth areas in an attractive atmosphere of pure “Swissness”.

The networking of the various modules and the connection to the existing airport infrastructures are consequently important. “The Circle at Zurich Airport” aims to prove that innovations in the field of so-called ‘airport cities’ are possible, as are uncompromising quality and top-level excellence outside inner cities.

Public exhibition
The presentations of the fifteen shortlisted firms will be publicly displayed at the Zurich Airport every day from noon to 7 pm until February 26, 2010. The showing also includes the drafts of the other four finalists:
  • Asymptote Architecture (USA)
  • Dürig AG (Switzerland)
  • Xaveer De Geyter (Belgium)
  • Zaha Hadid Architects (United Kingdom)


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