Situated Infrastructures

The Circle

The Circle

The goal of our project was to analyse the concept behind The Circle, a modern building complex located right next to Zurich Airport. The Circle is supposed to “set a new standard for the work environment of the future” (Rent - Office Space, o. D.). By offering various kinds of services such as renting out office space, having restaurants, shops, hotel rooms and an entire health care section, it supposedly is “the new place to be in Zurich”. Curious about this promise, we wanted to see to what extent the 1.2 billion (Swiss francs) project really could be the new lifestyle spot and innovative working environment of Zurich.

After our first visit, however, The Circle seemed to have more in common with a normal coworking facility with some extended shopping opportunities from the airport next door. We began to question, what and who this infrastructure is actually for and why it seemed like a rather lifeless and empty than thriving and flourishing place. We wondered how – besides how The Circle presents itself – other people actually think and feel about it. By gathering information from direct sources such as interviews with existing contacts to The Circle and doing multiple user testings with volunteers, we tried to gain a better insight of how this infrastructure operates. Yet, even after being able to interview the Head of The Circle, we remained confused about its initial purpose and intent.

So we decided to create one of our own. An ideally used infrastructure combining work space, hotel facilities, health care, food, shopping opportunities and a natural park side. We will implement this concept by hosting an interactive workshop. During the workshop, our fellow students will write their opinions about The Circle on post-its, stick them on the physical map of The Circle, and share their thoughts on how an ideally used infrastructure could be equipped, look and feel like. Thus, hopefully, we will come a bit closer to understanding the original purpose and intent of The Circle.

Rent - Office Space. (o. D.). THE CIRCLE.