Contemporary Swiss design paired with technological advancements is what characterises the stylish new lobby of Swissôtel Zurich. Guests of the tallest hotel in town can expect modern Swissness in the form of a compelling amalgamation of tradition and the modern: a successful combination of design items and the latest technology. In the wake of a complete renovation, the heart of Swissôtel Zurich has been transformed from a classic reception hall into a living room with a feel-good atmosphere. Torsten Pinter, General Manager of Swissôtel Zurich, proudly describes its individuality: “The new lobby offers us the opportunity to welcome our guests in a unique atmosphere. Modern design and newly created zones such as the library or working area for business travellers are an absolute added value for guests.”
For Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, the lobby is more than just a general thoroughfare, it’s where the heart of the hotel truly beats, and it’s part of the hotel that makes the first and leaves the last impression on the guest. A comfortable, homelike atmosphere, but also the level of efficiency within the processes to make every single stay run smoothly are the key requirements here. And then there’s also the moment of pleasant surprise that makes a lasting impression on guests upon arrival. The fact that customer orientation was the clear focus of the project is reflected in every detail of the lobby and comes into play through the use of technological innovations. The iPad check-in allows front office staff to be even closer to guests and better meet their needs. This new flexibility makes it possible to serve guests directly in the seated oasis, thus saving lots of time – the lobby’s Emotions Managers, who are extremely engaged and highly valued by regular guests, are also on hand to accommodate individual requests. While the new, large tables are ideal for small meetings or a fun chat over a coffee, the new lounge and seating area offer a comfortable view of the lobby’s bustling activity.
The new lobby at Swissôtel Zurich is a prime example of the Swissôtel design philosophy, uniting contemporary Swiss design with local charm and the latest technology with traditional craftsmanship. The characteristic “Swiss Circles”, carved in Swiss pine behind the modern check-in cubes, are especially eye-catching. They consist of a combination of graphic elements and symbols that come from the traditional, 17th century art of Swiss paper cutting, building a bridge to time-honoured Swiss design in a playful, poetic way.
In addition to the progressive designer furniture made from natural raw materials, another special feature of the new lobby has to be the artistically inspired installation on the theme of snow, which covers the whole ceiling and consists of hanging chrome elements engraved with snowflakes. The video installation, which is projected onto the ceiling in the middle of the room, is also an exciting feature: “SNOW-emotion switzerland” was created by internationally active interior designer Karsten Schmidt and his IDA14 firm, who were responsible for the entire interior design of the lobby and also work with snow as a metaphor for Switzerland that is understood world-wide. “Swissôtel stands for Swissness and represents the values and image of Switzerland”, says Karsten Schmidt. “What’s very exciting for me is the way that Switzerland’s roots in both modernity and tradition are expressed here in the lobby through the state-of-the-art elements under the ceiling: a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich start-up product from the architect Oskar Zieta in combination with the faint smell of Swiss pine that meets you on arrival.”
The renovation contractors included CS Asset Management, founded in 1938, and the construction project fully met their aims of creating lasting values with sustainability.