Located in the Zurich Airport, you will find an urban center that opened its doors in November 2020. Covering 180,000 square metres, The Circle is a revolutionary space that boasts two Hyatt hotels, a convention center, medical and beauty services, office space, dining, shopping, art exhibits, event spaces, and coworking spaces for professionals and student alike.
One of the challenges of this project was finding a way to split the convention center into different configurations without sacrificing the style and elegance of the high angled glass ceilings. Some of the architects on the project first worked with Skyfold walls while designing the SwissTech Convention Center. There, Skyfold had supplied a uniquely configurated Skyfold system for an auditorium/theatre space. They were certain that we could work our magic again.
Skyfold was awarded the project back in 2010, but it took several years and many different designs from our in-house engineers to come up with the perfect solution. The first design was presented in 2009. Our design and sales team modified and redesigned for nearly 5 years as preferences and updated information was provided. We finally came up with a solution: Instead of trying to force a rectangular operable wall to fit in an angular space, the Skyfold walls became a design element, adding new angles and visual interest.
In the convention center you will now find two large Skyfold walls that can split up the 1,292 meter space. These walls are 6.1 meters high and span the 29 meter-wide room. Their size demands that multiple motors work in sync to operate the walls.
An obstacle that we had to overcome was installing the panels. The angled design of the ceiling causes a very tight space for installation and servicing. The traditional elevated work platforms normally used to assemble the partitions are larger than the space between the partition and the angled ceiling. Our team developed a custom fastening system to allow the panels to be installed with a narrower footprint. The installation team also had to select different work platforms that could access these remote spaces.
The walls each feature two touch screen keypads that have multilingual capabilities, real-time communication display, and a 4-digit user programmed PIN for added security. The walls are finished with a white fabric and have white seals to better blend the walls with the surrounding space.
Thanks to these two Skyfold walls, the convention center is capable of three different configurations: a banquet configuration that accommodates 1,242 guests, a theater configuration that holds 1,500 people, and a classroom configuration that seats up to 870. This new venue is perfect for both day and evening events with stunning parkland views. Patrons won’t soon forget their time spent at The Circle.