How to stay disappeared
Zurich Airport or ZRH is Switzerland’s biggest airport. Inaugurated in 1948, it’s located in Kloten, a town 12km north of the city of Zurich, conveniently connected by bus, train and tram. ZRH is an airport of federal importance in Switzerland and therefore subject to its own development plan and set of regulations. Over time it has developed as a popular transit airport in Europe coinciding to the geographical location as well as it’s good reputation among airports. ZRH is also a one terminal airport which means that it’s easier and faster to transit. Read more

ZRH is an island in the growing carpet of Zurich’s urban region. Because Switzerland is part of the Schengen-Area the non-Schengen transit area in ZRH forms a non-state island inside a state. ZRH is therefore part of the Schengen-border.
TRANSIT forms an isolated space inside ZRH, ZRH forms an island inside the Zurich metropolitan region. Critically TRANSIT is a visa and duty free zone. After passport control, it’s a place where physical distances are read differently and become less important.
TRANSIT is a temporal space between destinations. TRANSIT is a threshold. A zone where humans are both on display and the voyeur.
Parking 1 or P1 is one of several overground parking garages connected to the terminal building at ZRH. P1 is a 10-story structure first built in 1984 and later expanded. Together with P2 and P3 if forms a wall-like structure visually separating the terminal from the street as well as the opposite “Circle” complex. By car P1 is accessed via the Parkhausring which leads through P2 and P3 before reaching P1. By foot it’s reached via elevator from the Terminal.
With the integration of P1 into TRANSIT the temporal nature of such a space becomes permanent. It can be a refuge for those with nowhere to go for whatever reason because TRANSIT does not distinguish between different statuses.
P1 is the extension of a day-hotel room during a layover. P1 is a place to rest, to stay, to hide. It does not distinguish between people hiding goods or themselves. It forms a protective shell around the potentially lost individual in a place where tourist meets airline employee.
P1 becomes a walled city, a place within a place. It’s both a market place and an empty playground. It’s a place where you can make yourself at home, a home for everyone as well as no one. A do it yourself hotel room with extra features. P1 is a contained reality. It’s an artificial world. An island inside an island. Visible only within TRANSIT.
TRANSIT winds itself through P1, chasing flights while going in circles riding escalators. TRANSIT connects the hidden parts inside P1 in a big, open space, a zone of transport. It’s the in-between place to be. Where you wait, you interact. Where inhabitants and tourists meet in the open while still hidden. The secluded zones inside TRANSIT are divided into LIVING and STORAGE.
LIVING are apartment studios stacked around the courtyards, chasing daylight. LIVING provides a temporary home to people who treat spatial distances differently. People who consider time money. People who hide inside the safety of non-existence. People who live in transit for whatever reason. LIVING doesn’t ask because LIVING doesn’t care.
STORAGE is dutyfreeland. Units, part of the duty-free warehouse inside P1, store in transit without officially entering the country, financially benefitting the owner of such goods. The dutyfree warehouse profits from the closeness to the rest of the world at ZRH, integrating itself into the Schengen-border. STORAGE hides, STORAGE protects.
When you enter P1 you enter a realm. A cloud. The artificiality of an airport terminal mixed with the ruggedness of storage units. The complex legality of duty free storage with the grey mist of life on the go. Public with private. Permanence in transit. Read less

Leonie Huber
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