Extensive, welcoming – and very tasteful in the dual sense of the word: Following its recent makeover, the Zurich Cantonal Bank headquarters in the Swiss financial capital is now home to stylish “Kafi Züri”. Once they have concluded their banking business customers (and ordinary visitors too) can indulge in good coffee, typical Swiss cuisine and selected artworks. Plus they get to enjoy furniture designed by Zeitraum. The architects at Jessenvollenweider Architekten, a local firm, spent as many as four years revitalizing the heritage building that is home to the Zurich Cantonal Bank. On the outside, the first thing that catches the eye is the white bands horizontally separating the wrap-around ribbon windows. These were fitted with high-insulation glazing to comply with energy-efficiency standards. On entering the building, brass inlays in the floor of the extensive reception hall swiftly attract the visitor’s gaze. The masterminds behind this so-called “unknown artwork”, which pays homage to Vincent van Gogh’s “Twelve Sunflowers in a Vase”, are Swiss painters Christine Streuli and Jens Nordmann. On the inside, Jessenvollenweider opted for warm, muted shades of brown for the office floors, meeting rooms and atria, thus achieving a friendly and welcoming ambiance, while indirect strip lighting embedded in the ceiling provides a soft light that brings out the exquisite materials used: white marble and walnut wood with a reddish sheen.
Open to everyone, “Kafi Züri” is frequented not only by Zurich Cantonal Bank staff and customers, but equally so by ordinary punters. The range of lunch and snack offerings on the menu (fittingly described in Swiss German as “Zmittag und Zwüschedürre”) is mouthwatering to say the least. A range of coffee varieties and regional specialties such as “Zürcher Pfarrhaustorte”, which is apple cake with almonds, are served in a bright and homey ambiance dominated by natural materials. The furniture by Zeitraum is presented to great effect against the backdrop of dark timber wall cladding, atop a cream-colored stone floor and in a space that is immersed in a warm light. The architects selected the range together with the bank’s Art Commission and Felix Messmer, furniture dealer with “Wohnbedarf WB AG”. Their maxim: to set a striking contrast to the bank’s conventional interior design and instead create a modern, contemporary café with a superior design. The upholstered armchairs from the “Morph” series and, featuring delicately subtle organic shapes, the oak-wood bistro tables from the “Turntable” range are just perfect for relaxing and watching life go by on the busy Bahnhofstrasse through floor-to-ceiling windows. The furniture blends most harmoniously with the overall design. Of course, the seating ensemble is rounded out by a lounge area: Here you can make yourself comfy on the two-seater “Morph Lounge Duo” or lean back in the easy chair “Morph Lounge” – both designed by Zeitraum. Special features include the utmost delicacy in the shape of the timber legs and a seat that ever so slightly slopes towards the rear, providing utter comfort for guests enjoying a hearty chat. Indeed, the bank’s art collection provides ample inspiration for interesting conversation topics – and very soon to be experienced right there in “Kafi Züri”, thanks to a video installation by Swiss artist Elisabeth Charlotte Rist alias “Pippilotti”.
The Kafi Züri is the only café existing in the Bahnhofsstraße. Here you can enjoy regional food and relax while sitting on the chairs of Zeitraum. Photo © Zürcher Kantonalbank
Tasteful and contemporary: The wooden furniture by Zeitraum are creating a warm and inviting ambience.
Photo © Zürcher Kantonalbank
It’s time for a duo: The little fine double-seater “Morph Duo” with soft curved shell is inviting you to stay a little bit longer. Photo © Zeitraum