Zurich’s 4th District. Once, it was a place where people buried horses and other animals. Towards the end of the 19th century, it offered migrants to Switzerland a home. Today, in its streets and alleyways, behind thick walls and coloured windows, Zurich’s (night) life comes into its own. Artists are as much a part of the scene as the dropouts, the freaks, the nightclubs, the bars and other establishments of varying degrees of repute. Running through it like an artery is the legendary Langstrasse, perceived by many as a den of sin and iniquity. For all that, its side streets are a hotbed of creativity.
A haven of creativity at the heart of Zurich
A bike shoots past a row of houses sprayed with graffiti, abruptly turns to one side and is swallowed up by dark entry, at the end of which opens up a welcoming atrium. Designer Ronald Büttler removes his helmet and chains up his mount. We glance quickly around the light-flooded courtyard. Cars parked cheek by jowl. Company signs with no-frills typography frame the plain entrances. Galleries, consultants, architects and, in the midst of them, ‘Candio & Büttler, Architects and Industrial Designers’.