Opening of Airport Park – nature in an urban setting

As of 5 November 2020, the new park behind the Circle will be open to the public. The Park – a unique place to meet and relax for visitors, employees, local residents and passengers – is an enhancement to Zurich Airport. Together with the Circle it also expands “Zurich Airport” as an excursion destination.

The Park will be a new meeting place and recreational area directly at Zurich Airport. Spanning 80,000 m2 of green space, a new recreational area has grown up on the Butzenbüel hill in just under two years. The range of uses focuses on nature-related experiences and aims to strike a balance between the landscape and park visitors.

“We are delighted to be opening the Park for our visitors at the beginning of November. The new meeting place will bring nature into the urban airport site and increase the quality of the time spent at Zurich Airport. It’s worth visiting the new park. There is plenty to discover, and people can also visit the Circle, which will open at the same time”, says Manuela Staub, Head of Corporate Communication at Flughafen Zürich AG.

The Park's design was the subject of a landscape architecture competition won by Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH, which created the concept for the project and oversaw its construction. The costs of the project came to around CHF 15 million.

Range of uses of the Park
The Park is primarily intended as a recreational area and meeting place. The range of uses thus mainly comprises the different existing landscape typologies: the established woodland, meadows and wetlands are being revived and a variety of paths has been created. A “sky platform” has been installed at the Park’s highest point. This level area with a water and mist feature will be one of the Park's main attractions. The Park’s transit system – a funicular around 80 metres in length – carries visitors from the Circle directly to the panorama route, one of the two path systems, in around one minute. This well constructed path leads directly to the sky platform. In addition to the sky platform, there are also several places where small events can be held in the Park. The Pavilion, with a view of a small pond, is another highlight in the Park. Spaces and open areas between the trees have been created in different places where people can meet and enjoy the forest. For example, the Haselallee leads to a campfire spot in the midst of the forest, where firewood is provided.

Nature conservation and park use
A good portion of the 80,000 m2 is a nature reserve. Cleverly laid-out path systems and an attractive offering will guide visitors through the Park so that they don’t leave the designated areas. Thanks to the collaboration with Studio Vulkan, the focus is on nature in the Park. The extensive improvements have significantly increased the environmental value of the future conservation zones. The Butzenbüel transformation will have a positive influence on the natural surroundings, as the existing areas are being enhanced in a concept encompassing the entire hill.

The Park as a new excursion destination
Together with the Greifensee Foundation, rangers from Zurich Airport have been conducting guided tours in the Park since October 2020. On a 90-minute tour, visitors are invited to discover the Park’s flora and fauna and experience nature up close in a unique setting. Visitors are guided through the recreational area on foot by a Zurich Airport ranger. There are plans to expand the offering for visitors in future with other nature-related experiences.

You can find suitable pictures here (search for “Park”): www.brand.zrh.ch/media