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The Circle at Zurich Airport

  • Kloten, Switzerland
  • 2009 – TBC
  • Unique
  • Competition / Research
  • 200000m2
  • Site Area: 27,845m²
  • Footprint: 33,170m² (including bridge & upper levels)
  • Site Dimensions approx. 550m long x 70m wide

The River ‘flows’ as a continuous curve on one side, as a convex erosion on the other – within, ‘interior urbanism’ promotes interaction between different program elements, incorporating three major ‘canyon’ voids to define entry points and circulation routes. A top level open plan streetscape houses retail, cafes and restaurants.

The River, a mixed-use structure to serve Zurich Airport, ‘flows’ in response to differing external conditions – as a continuous curve towards the airport, as a convex erosion on the other side.

The building’s ‘interior urbanism’ facilitates and encourages interaction amongst different program elements, while also maintaining a practical vertical ‘stack’ for each in order to rationalize services and circulation.

Clarity of access is of paramount importance, with entry to both vertical and horizontal pathways focused on three major voids or ‘canyons’, which cut through the building to merge on an open-plan top floor. These canyons serve to indicate major points of entry to the complex and also reinforce major circulation routes.

The top floor becomes an open ‘streetscape’ – a promenade punctuated by retail outlets, restaurants and cafes, anchored by a hotel at its north extremity and an exhibition area at its south.




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Manuela Gatto

Technical Associate

Dillon Lin

Project Team

Hannes Schafelner, Maren Klasing, Teoman Ayas, Lisamarie Ambia, Camiel Weijenberg, Seda Zirek, Ai Sato, Andres Madrid, Amit Gupta, Sophie Le Bienvenu, Rashiq Muhamadali, Roxana Rakshani, Nupur Shah, Fabian Hecker, Saleem Jalil, Daniel Piccinelli

Local Architect

Burkhardt + Partners AG

Interior Design

Woods Bagot


Adams Kara Taylor


ARUP Berlin

Cost / QS

Baukostenplanung Ernst


Office for Visual Interaction (OVI)


Amstein + Walthert


Gross Max


Pragma UK