Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Swiss recently opened its new First Class Lounge in Terminal A at Zurich Airport. The airline developed the concept in collaboration with an interior designer and an industrial designer. A discovery tour.

The following scenario: You are at Zurich Airport, roll up the stairs to the Welcome Desk, hold your ticket and passport under the reader, which is placed next to a flower vase. The lady from the airline smiles and waves you through the glass door. The exclusive security check runs smoothly. Another glass door opens and you are in another world.

"Welcome to the new one", says the greeting of two other ladies. The 650-square-metre temporary refuge can now be discovered and enjoyed. You walk over a bright, oiled oak parquet, the limestone wall – from the Jura, as you learn later – a barista bar set in copper and fine furniture by Swiss designers are the first to catch your eye.

It is already the third lounge that the team, Carmen and Urs Greutmann Bolzern, have created for the airline. If you work for Swiss, you don't have a completely free hand, the interior designer notes. A frog green cushion, for example, would be unthinkable here. The client's brief was to preserve their identity and work with natural, genuine materials. The carpet in the lounge suites is therefore made of wool and the armchairs are made of leather. They are also stiff for a surprising but obvious reason.

"A collapsing leather armchair would also crumple the suits and dresses of the guests. Such details must be taken into account in this class," explains Carmen Greutmann. It's subtleties like these that Bruno Schlaefli, Head of Premium Services & Lounges, is concerned with. The result is a timeless first class lounge that focuses on the needs and wishes of guests and is more reminiscent of a living room than a lounge.

Wall gaps satisfy curiosity
Whether you design one for first-time or business travellers doesn't make much difference otherwise. "The guests of both classes want three things above all: peace, discretion and electricity," says Urs Greutmann. All three points are fulfilled: a pleasant peace floats like a cloud over the entire room. A wooden wall with thin gaps between each slat separates the lounge suites from the rest of the room.

Power stations were discreetly integrated everywhere, and the technology required to use the amenities was carefully hidden in the ceiling. "The columns allow a view of what is happening on the other side. Nevertheless, you can't see everything, this allows discretion and still satisfies any curiosity," says Carmen Greutmann. The guests should feel as if they were at home. This can easily be achieved thanks to the equipment and the range of products on offer.

The interior designer and the industrial designer describe the result as elegant, effortless, balanced, luxurious, but not ostentatious – in Swiss terms. Warm colours such as aubergine, bordeaux, mocha brown and of course the red logo create a feeling of well-being and sense of home. The atmosphere that Antonio Lisboa from the airline's brand management originally only had in mind now fills the room with a total of 86 lounge seats. They will probably never all be occupied at the same moment. A four-seater lounge suite is expected for two people. You sit down in one armchair, put your bag down in the other – that's First Class.

Copper sets the scene for liquid gold
The heart of the lounge is the Barista Bar, with more than 120 varieties of predominantly Swiss grappa and fruit brandies and an exquisite selection of coffee specialities served by trained baristas. Some of the gold, red and rust brown drops on offer have matured in copper kettles. This was a good argument for the designers to also use the material as a coat for the barista bar.

On the other hand, it doesn't take a lot of convincing to select something from the menu. The exquisite dishes can be enjoyed in the à la carte restaurant. The delicacies range from a classic four-course menu to a juicy club sandwich. To round off the culinary delights, a small sweet and sour lemon tartellete may be the perfect finishing touch. Thanks to shop windows with a view of the kitchen, not only can you celebrate culinary delights but also entertain them. Guests can decide for themselves whether they want to be served or get their own food and drinks.

It all depends on the details
It is a true oasis that Swiss has created for its first-class travellers. Although according to Markus Binkert, Chief Commercial Officer of the airline, there is no first-class passenger. "The expectations of our guests are very different. The new lounge will meet these heterogeneous needs.

In addition to the à la carte restaurant, the following is available in order to optimally meet your wishes: a club corner, a smokers lounge with outdoor area and whiskey selection, a conference room with a view of the airport ramp, a relaxation room with two relaxation loungers and a sanitary area including showers. Bathrobe, toilet bag with care products, toothpaste and toothbrush are also available for every guest next to the vase with the salmon-coloured St. John's-wort. Visitors will find it easy to feel good.

And should the passenger take off from icy to warmer climes, he doesn't have to carry his coat with him. The coat is well kept in the wardrobe until the passenger returns. From summer, the offer will also be supplemented with a driver service. First-class travellers will be picked up directly at the aircraft door and driven to passport and security control. The first-class service does not begin with boarding the aircraft and does not end with leaving the aircraft. The end of such an all-around feel-good package should be delayed as long as possible anyway.

Design Team:

Greutmann Bolzern Designstudio

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×

Photographer: Valentin Jeck

Swiss First Class Lounge Terminal A by greutmann bolzern designstudio | Club interiors ×