Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Zurich AirSpace in Switzerland by Asymptote Architecture
July 6th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Asymptote Architecture
Zurich AirSpace by Asymptote integrates elegance in design with a sense of timelessness, engineered precision, housing a a wide range of programmatic functions. The basic premise of AirSpace is the interplay of a wide range of functions centered on luxury commerce, state-of-the-art medical facilities, cultural venues and higher education facilities, all in close proximity to the active hub of the Zurich Airport.
Asymptote’s architectural solution proposes a three story plinth above the Zurich Circle roadway that adjoins the existing Airport. Above this plinth are four distinct towers, between which are ‘external galleries’ that connect AirSpace’s interior with the surrounding landscape. The taught and elegant articulation of the towers is inspired by the powerful horizon surrounding the city of Zurich, with its snow-capped mountains and open sky. The changing quality of the horizon’s light and the panorama of its white jagged peaks play against the curvature of the glass facades and dichroic louvers.
AirSpace is designed to accommodate a highly dynamic set of programs housed within a bold and coherent architectural statement that responds to both the uniqueness of its program as well as its important location at Zurich Airport. The towers’ massing and articulation provide a scale that is tailored to the diverse identities of flight, transience, technological elegance and engineered functionalism, all key aspects of a brand such as Zurich Airport. The conceptual underpinning of AirSpace is the creation of an ‘activated’ urban experience located on the third level of the project, articulated as a public realm situated between the plinth and the towers.
Acting as a spatial break between these two elements, this is an important public event space that connects the horizontal levels of the programmed space with the ambitious and open verticality of the atriums above. Asymptote’s design for AirSpace is a contemporary architectural solution that anticipates the evolution of the roles that airports play, serving not only as transportation hubs but as important urban environments utilizing the energy and action of flight, internationalism and glamour – in effect, addendums to significant and energetic spaces of the city.
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