Katharina Kroth

Katharina Kroth

Congress Hotel Zurich. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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From the eastern entry of Zurich main station, a wide busy road leads to the adjacent urban district. Taking a gentle right bend and following the river Sihl in a slight curve heading north, the guest reaches the Congress Hotel`s spacious forecourt, which is marked by two interlocked square slices – one lying and one standing upright.
The building is a prelude to “district five”, the former industrial district. In the chain of various public buildings in the educational sector, such as the State Museum of Switzerland and several universities, it represents another link and – due to its spatial overall structure – is a simple, harmonious, and prominent completion to the quarter.
The sixteen-storey building is structured along an overarching, uniform pillar structure made of red brick. The ceiling panels, which are on the same level as the pillars, form a vertical pattern. This formal rigor keeps the building together as one integral unit. Due to the small size of the bricks and the depth of the façade, the building suggests – in spite of its dimensions – a human scale. At the intersection of the two parts of the building, where the pane touches the socket, one of the two entrances is located.
Daylight enters the spacious lobby, which is directly affiliated to the entrance, the restaurant, and a café. Lined with brick pillars, the four-storey foyer forms the place of arrival and lingering. The striking stairway at the northern side of the courtyard leads the guest upstairs to the ballroom, several congress rooms, the spa, and the breakfast room.
On the fifth, first hotel room floor, the pillars at the eastern side of the court reach from the foyer to the sixteenth, last storey of the building. Thereby, the court establishes a visual link between both, the lying and the standing object.

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