Hotel Park Hyatt

Textiles are amongst those things that comfort and surround hotel guests—with fresh bed linen and towels on the one hand, and curtains, bedspreads and carpets on the other. Travelers have taken textiles with them on journeys since time immemorial: tents, blankets and rugs sheltered and protected them and served as their mobile housing. Since textiles are portable and easily traded, they were popular ways of demonstrating the wealth and prosperity of their owners as luxurious clothing or as richly decorated household fabrics.

In the Hyatt Hotel competition project, fabrics are used to emphasize the hotel’s character as “housing for the moment”. In addition, these fabrics should underline the luxurious atmosphere of this grand hotel inside as well as outside.

The walls of the guestrooms are all decorated with textile coverings. The "fourth wall"—the glass wall—can be closed with night curtains made with the same fabric as is applied to the surrounding walls, thus creating a monochrome, or monotextile, space along the lines of the tent rooms of the 19th century.

The two courtyards, the Cloth Court and the Green Court, form the actual spatial treasure of the hotel.

The Cloth Court is covered by a roof. Translucent cloth panels transform this inner courtyard into a spacious, prism-shaped "tent space" forming the actual heart of the hotel. In the evening, when the surrounding hallways are illuminated, the cloth covers are transformed into brightly glowing walls, like giant lampshades.

Hanging ivy decorates the glass walls of the outer Green Court like curtains. The floor of this large inner space is covered with water.

. The façade skin consists of highly insulating glass with its metal clips. Transparent glass alternates with fiber-filled, translucent and opaque sheets of glass, allowing the rhythm of the façade's articulation to be overlaid by the play of the day and night curtains, which either hang straightly or are gathered in.

The building, with its two courtyards and set back on all sides from the streets, "scintillates" between two different urban design positions: as a development around a courtyard—completing the urban fabric that has grown over the years, and as the solitary building that expands the existing street space—forming a forecourt or a driveway, respectively. The trees planted around the complex can also be interpreted in two ways: as a continuation of the avenues that already exist in part on the one hand, and as a landscaped area belonging to the hotel on the other, in the midst of which the building itself is set.

Location Zurich, Switzerland

Competition 1993, 1st Prize

Team G/G Michael Widrig, Rina Plangger, Raphael Frei, Dieter Bachmann

Landscape Architecture Raderschall Landschaftsarchitekten AG, Meilen

Structural Engineer Aerni + Aerni, Zurich