The Dolder Grand Hotel, Zurich

Building Culture, Garden Culture, Urban Nature

The Dolder Grand Hotel stands tall between the forested slopes of the Zürichberg and the thriving city. The garden design is a blending intersection between town, country and architecture. The harmony of the built structure and the open space is created by the seamless sequence of three types of outside space: the forest as background scenery; the garden situated in front of the hotel; and the outside spaces near the buildings – elegant, homogeneous courtyards, terraces and drives.

Intertwining the Inside and the Outside

The location and the brief of the acclaimed hotel required a particularly sensitive handling of the outside spaces. The architecture and exterior design are intertwined into an inseparable entity. Courtyards, terraces, cleverly embedded access areas, formal garden spaces and the flowing transition to the neighbouring forest – the various outside spaces are overlaid in their topographical and spatial connection, creating an overall impression of a powerful, tranquil atmosphere.

Choreography at Walking Pace

Thanks to the close coordination between the architecture of the building and the landscape architecture, all outside spaces can be seen from the hotel. The views from the building’s windows are transformed into exciting sequences of mood impressions – a film at walking pace. The viewer is the director as they choose their individual path through the hotel.

Client: Dolder Hotel AG, Zurich

Planning phase: 2003-2006

Implementation phase: 2006-2008

Area: 17’500 m²


Foster+Partners, London

Itten+Brechbühl AG, Zurich

Photograph: vetschpartner, Manuel Bauer

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