Japanese firm beats off competition from Hadid and Perrault
Japanese firm Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop has won the highly competitive international design contest for a new building at Zurich Airport. Beating back competition from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, Dominique Perrault, UN Studio and around 90 others, the firm has developed a design of ‘Swiss understatement’ for the 37,000 sq m plot.
Dubbed ‘The Circle at Zurich Airport’, the new building will accommodate services from cultural to office through health and beauty. RYFS’ design ‘Divers(c)ity’ was praised for its response to the brief:
“Thanks to the eloquence of its compact urban format, the proposal submitted by Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop is characterised primarily by Swiss understatement and high atmospheric quality,” said the jury. “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.”
A true mixed-use scheme, hotels and serviced apartments will join retail, offices and education facilities across 200,000 sq m of floor space. Conference facilities, exhibition space and auditoriums are also incorporated in the plans.
RYFS’ design which tightly nestles into its surrounding landscape is set to add a vibrant public quarter to the airport which currently serves over 22 million passengers a year. Featuring a glass roof and an eclectic lattice of streets, plazas, and passageways at ground level the project is one of the most ambitious ever seen in Switzerland. Groundbreaking is expected in 2012 and completion in 2016.