The days are getting shorter, and the sunny hours spent in the municipal swimming facilities on the lake are drawing to a close. This summer it became very noticeable just how much the city skyline along the lake basin has changed. Anyone out on a boat, pedal boat or SUP on Lake Zurich must have noticed new additions such as Patrick Thurston’s Fischerhütte (rebuilt for the third time) or E2A’s shipyard-like building for the Wasserpolizei (water police) or, behind it, the sparkling facade of Krischanitz's building for Zurich Versicherung.
And yes, that’s right: this insurance company, which has occupied a prominent position on what is known as Zurich’s “insurance mile” since 1901, is completely globalised and now omits the two dots over the “u” that are found in the German spelling of the city’s name, Zürich. At Swiss-Re next door the advantages offered by an office campus in a prominent location with a view of the lake also aim attracting the best talent. No one any longer wants to work in shady Adliswil. But those who
live there or those who must travel from even further away flock to the lake every weekend, from Seefeld in the east to Wollishofen in the west. On hot days it gets crowded: bicycles collide with pedestrians or astonished tourists, who understandably cannot get enough of the Alpine panorama behind the picturesque sailing boats. The uninhibited days of the Street Parade are dedicated to intentional physical contact. On such occasions the lake basin becomes a stage, which of course has long been exploited commercially.
In stark contrast to this, in daily urban life the swimming facilities from the Tiefenbrunnen to the Uto, the Enge Baths, Mythenquai and Wollishofen Baths function as small and large oases for the people of Zurich, often with magnificent trees and well-maintained architecture. With some of the public buildings featured in this issue, the city of Zurich proves on the lake
basin in particular that, compared internationally, it does not leave its territory solely to the global players or commercial theatres but keeps it open to the general population. Sometimes it may seem almost too well-maintained and polished, excessively tidy and clean — but this ensures that the open space remains intact for everyone despite being used very intensively. — Jenny Keller, Roland Züger