I got into Zurich around 9:00 AM on Sunday, rather wiped out from my flight from San Francisco via Newark. Fading, but anxious to get out and see the town, I called up Zurich-based architect Felix Oesch, who designed the house in Eglisau, Switzerland, which ran in our February 09 Prefab Issue. He and his afghan, Giselle, picked me up at my Swiss Kreis 4 hotel for a stroll about town.
A proper modernist in a medieval town, Oesch showed me the sights, or rather as many as he could before I had to meet back at the hotel for the Thinkswiss Design Innovation tour to officially commence. Highlights included a walk on the banks of Lake Zurich, a much-needed espresso at Café Odeon (where many German intellectuals like Bertold Brecht hung out after escaping WWII Germany), an incredible mural of early 20th century cyclists and the Lindenhof, a park atop early Roman fortifications built in 200 AD.
We made it back to the Hotel Greulich just in time to satisfy my very punctual hosts. After some facts and figures on the small, alpine nation, we took off for the Museum of Design Zurich for a guided tour of two rather good exhibitions. The first was Good Design, Good Business: Swiss Graphic Design and Advertising By Geigy, 1940-1970, which focused on the identity, advertisting and packaging design of the Swiss chemical company, Geigy. Curator Andres Janser gave us all the details before we headed downstairs to see Everything Design, a taste of the design objects in the Museum’s massive permanent collection.
We finished the night at Terroir for a tasty Swiss repast before I finally crashed back in my room, twelve hours after my arrival. A splendid day with more details to come.