Skyfold: The Circle Zurich

Date: 25/05/2022


Located at Zurich Airport, a brand new urban center opened its doors in November 2020. Encompassing no less than 180,000 square meters, The Circle is nothing less than a new, revolutionary space boasting two Hyatt hotels, a convention center, medical and beauty services, office space, dining, shopping, art exhibits, event spaces, and co-working areas for professionals and students alike. 

What was required to create such a novel convention center was the ability to host multiple events at the same time—and one of the big challenges was the ability to divide the venue into different configurations without sacrificing the style and elegance of the high, angled glass ceilings.

Some of the architects on the project had previously worked with Skyfold walls when designing the SwissTech Convention Center. There, Skyfold had supplied a uniquely configurated system for an auditorium / theatre space, and architects now working on The Circle were confident that Skyfold’s custom operable walls would be the ideal solution for this venue as well.  

Due to the venue’s unique design, the Skyfold team had to get creative! Instead of trying to force a rectangular operable wall to fit in an angular space, the Skyfold walls were re-imagined and deployed as design elements. Adding new angles and visual interest became the winning solution for The Circle.  

In the convention center, visitors now find two large Skyfold walls that can divide the 1,292 meter space. The walls are 6.1 meters high and span the 29 meter-wide room where their size demands that multiple motors work in sync to operate. The vertical motion of the Skyfold walls gives users the flexibility to quickly expand or divide the space, allowing three separate events to be held in The Circle at the same time.  

When deployed, Skyfold walls provide a two-sided, rigid surface and an acoustic barrier with acoustic ratings of up to STC 60 (RW 59) for sound isolation, and an NRC/SAC of up to 0.65 for noise reduction. Moreover, the Skyfold NRC models are not only designed to stop sound, they are crafted to absorb it. Top architectural firms around the world have specifically approved Skyfold walls for use in convention centers where sound control is critical. Investing in a high-quality operable wall system like Skyfold assures maximum acoustic performance as it curtails, even cancels, sound transfer from one adjacent space to another. 

When not in use, Skyfold walls rest neatly in folded positions in the ceiling, thus never compromising valuable floor space. They permit convention centers to maximize revenues by creating the option of hosting multiple smaller events simultaneously without the necessity of large pockets that waste floor space, or wall and floor tracks that distract from the design. 

Skyfold walls also feature two touch screens with multilingual capabilities, real-time communication display, and a 4-digit user programmed PIN for added security. The walls are finished with white fabric with white seals to blend well with the walls of the surrounding space. 

Thanks to their two Skyfold walls, The Circle convention center is capable of three different configurations: a banquet configuration that can accommodate 1,242 guests, a theater configuration that holds 1,500 people, and a classroom configuration that seats up to 870.  

Simply put, it has become a new venue perfect for both day or evening events and boasts stunning parkland views. Patrons won’t soon forget any time spent at Zurich’s The Circle. 

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