Dolder Grand Hotel,
Zurich, Switzerland

The light provides a visual cohesion and a five-star ambience across a wide range of areas: the exterior, entrance, reception lobbies, lounges, restaurants, meeting rooms, bar, ballroom, grand suites and a spa.
Herr Schwarzenbach
Foster and Partners
Interior Designers
United Designers
Implementation Architect
Itten + Brechbuhl Partners
Edmund Sumner, Peter Hebeisen, Stefan Schmidlin
Project Team
Jonathan Speirs, Carrie Donahue Bremner

Housed in a building that is part medieval fortress, part 19th-century château, the The Dolder Grand is one of Switzerland’s best-known hotels.

We responded to the juxtaposition of the historical and the contemporary architecture, taking care to conserve original features such as the hand-painted ceilings.”

The magnificent pool area has commanding views out to the lake and surrounding mountains. Accentuating its textural quality, we washed light from a concealed slot detail down the stone wall that wraps from the exterior through to the interior. 

The double-height space of the bar is reached from the upper level. This is a bar to see and to be seen in, lit to glamorous dramatic effect by more than 80 custom-made Swarovski ‘floating’ candles sparkling against the black curtain backdrop. We also lit the curved, metal-bead to bring focus to the rear of the bar, which also acts as a screen for guests as they descend the grand staircase.

This wall narrows and spirals to a meditation space, passing by the reception and café environments. Our lighting design smoothly changes the artificial light from a cool daylight ambience to warm ‘candlelight’ as dusk arrives, easing the day/night transition through all seasons.