Zürich Airport unveils spectacular US$1.1 billion ‘The Circle’

Investment in ‘The Circle’ will hit around SFR1 billion

SWITZERLAND. “A new world rises at Zürich Airport.” That was the tagline as the Swiss airport operator today revealed full details of its hugely ambitious commercial project, “˜The Circle’, at a press conference in downtown Zürich, where it received the full support and commitment of The Swatch Group through flagship brand Omega [we will bring you full details soon, including a major report in tomorrow’s e-Zine].

Today’s press conference was led by Zürich Airport CEO Thomas Kern and his Senior Vice President Commercial Patrick Graf, plus Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek Jnr and Omega President Stephen Urquhart (we’ll bring you pictures soon and interviews in coming days).

The SFR1 billion “˜The Circle’ is a hugely important project for Zürich Airport and is set to become a premium business and lifestyle destination as well as a focal point for brands, medicine, learning, culture and entertainment. As a commercial proposition it will augment the existing two major shopping locations at Zürich Airport, the Airside Center and the landside Airport Center.

The airport company aims to position The Circle as a second centre for the city after the famed Bahnhofstrasse shopping street. There will be a major retail square at its heart, dominated by Swiss and international brand names.

The 180,000sq m development will be split into seven modules; among those of keen interest to brands and retailers will be the Brands & Dialogue module, which will provide “a state of the art and highly sophisticated platform” for brands, said Zürich Airport.

Let The Circle be unbroken: (From left) Omega President Stephen Urquhart; Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek; Zürich Airport CEO Thomas Kern; Zürich Airport SVP Commercial Patrick Graf

The ebullilent Nick Hayek in full flow at the press conference

Martin Moodie interviews Zürich Airport CEO Thomas Kern

Patrick Graf describes The Circle as a hugely exciting and futuristic project during an interview with The Moodie Report

Patrick Graf with a model of the ambitious project

The Circle: A new business and lifestyle destination close to the airport

The full seven modules, each focused on a vibrant, high-growth market, are:
– Brands & Dialogue
– Hotels & Convention
– Headquarters & Offices
– Health & Beauty
– Education & Knowledge
– Counsel & Arts
– Culture & Events

In Brands & Dialogue, the airport pledges flexible spaces that allow “easy interaction with all stakeholders”, which anticipate changing consumer habits with the advances in communications technology.

“Brand experience” and “brand heritage” are critical factors behind consumers’ purchasing patterns today, noted the airport, and this new stage reacts to these impulses, it said.

“The Circle’s central location in Europe and Switzerland, its spectacular architecture and the interplay between modules from business to lifestyle will make it one of the most attractive commercial spaces in Europe,” said the airport.

“Its squares and lanes will glitter with the stores, showrooms and “corporate embassies” of famous companies and brands, attracting visitors from Zürich and around the rest of Switzerland and the world. The resulting international ambience will be reinforced by fine dining, entertainment, art and culture.”

The project aims to create a second city centre for the Swiss financial hub

Food & Beverage The Magazine eZine