OPEN HOUSE ZÜRICH 2021: A coffee machine maker, a city wastewater center and a modern office complex

Every year Open House Zürich opens its door to many private, public or historical buildings, facilities and landmarks. This year’s event was spread over 2 weeks and combined with the events linked to the “Tag der urbanen Produktion“, the choices are many.

The Zurich coffee machine manufacturer, Zuriga opened its production and research facility to just two of us. It was likely too early on a Saturday morning. Tizian, one of the staff, led the visit and the coffee tasting in such a professional, friendly and easy-going way that I am sure many would consider buying one of their products right away – me included. These excellent but not cheap espresso machines produce the best espresso I could remember – outside Italy, that is.

Villa Hohenbüel with Park
While Philippe is figuring out the anatomy of an espresso machine, non-coffee drinker Yasuko visited a magnificent villa just behind the Stadelhofen train station. As it was near my former work office, I used to look up this villa often. Today I had an opportunity to visit the delightful garden and have a glimpse of the elegant interior which currently belongs to the Zurich city’s police. I discovered another piece of Zurich!

Wastewater Center
Water is such an integral part of our life, yet we know so little about it. It was a great opportunity to discover the behind-the-scene of this water treatment system and electricity. All the wastewater from Zurich comes into this center and it is treated here, producing heat and electricity.

A truly fascinating office and factory complex: Yond
One of the speakers on the Open House Monday night was a young architect from this award-winning project. His concept of a flexible and dynamic office and factory complex interested us greatly, so quickly we added this visit to our agenda.

Lokales Wasser 37
Inside Yond we visited a bottled water company with a different approach. Lokales Wasser 37 bottles Zurich spring water, the same as one can drink at any of the 1’200 (!) public wells in and around Zurich. The idea is to offer restaurants an eco-friendly alternative to far-shipped water from all over the world. The water origins from the hills around Zurich and ends up in a well at the Rennweg 27 – since 1559. And true to themselves, they deliver the water not more than 10 km around town. Cool.

Freitag Bags, an iconic Zurich-based bag brand. We were lucky to have one of the Freitag brothers guide us through his factory.

The last building we visited was my former secondary school, the Kantonsschule Enge. I was somehow amazed by the cluelessness with which I spent several years in this place. I was at the same time amazed at the timelessness and simple elegance of this building from the 1960s. And of course, some nostalgia came along as well.

To see all the fascinating buildings we biked through the greater Zurich area and along the way we discovered plenty of things we had never seen!

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