At the exit of Zurich airport, an imposing facade stands in front of pedestrians. Its semi-circular shape, from which it takes its name, the “Circle”, resembles the entrance to an oversized football stadium. Once arrived in the vast patio of this circular complex, the walker is asked either to climb a long staircase, or to walk in a maze of ascending lanes to his right or to his left. This new masterpiece of modern architecture has the feel of a neighborhood. It includes shops as well as a hotel, restaurants, health centers and an annex to the Zurich University Hospital. The complex, opened last October after five years of construction and an investment of 1.2 billion francs, stands out from the shopping malls usually supposed to entertain international tourists.
The Circle is one of the two most prestigious real estate objects in the real estate portfolio of the insurer Swiss Life, the other being a complex located at rue du Rhône 8, in Geneva. The Zurich building is 49% owned by the life insurer, while Zurich airport owns 51%. Completed during the pandemic, with almost no delay except for the hotel’s inauguration, the utilization rate is around 85%, according to management. It is “very satisfactory” in the eyes of the co-owners.