A hotel plenty of history
From the Sihl Paper Factory to the Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity
The days when 500 factory workers ran busily up and down, the chimney fizzingly blew steam off, the freight wagons loaded with raw materials rolled in through the heavy iron gates and the trucks loaded with the paper rolls started off are already gone.
At the Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Hotel Zurich one is automatically a hotel guest and a contemporary witness at the same time. Numerous elements of industrial architecture remind us of the place's rich history: The stable construct of concrete providing safe storage for the heavy rolls of paper, the massive, white painted, distinct mushroom columns in the lobby and the small windows that prevented a fading of the photo-sensitive valuable material and today ensure a cosy ambiance.
Part of the Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Hotel Zurich is under monumental protection by the Canton of Zurich.
More than 150 years ago in 1836 the paper factory was established by industrialists and bankers from long-established families in Zurich. In 1931 the factory was quite heavily seized by the world economic crisis and only survived due to its solid financial basis. From then on, the factory successfully set its goal to produce high quality and special paper products. In 1973 the flourishing paper factory had the world's largest machine built for tracing paper. The next recession came knocking: Short-time work was implemented and many machines were shut down. The only thing that kept on running until 1990 was the cutting, sheeting and packaging department. After that the large warehouses were rented to artists from time to time.
Together with the Swiss architect Theo Holtz the general contractor Karl Steiner developed the project "Sihlcity" - the smallest Swiss metropolis with a unique architectural ambiance. It is a dense ensemble of traditional and contemporary architecture varying from limited to cast and from massive to airy. Four of the traditional buildings, which are still under landmark protection, today accommodate shopping center, train station, restaurants & bars, movie theatre, event locations and the Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Zurich Hotel. In the heart of Sihlcity at the Kalanderplatz one can find the project's landmark, the 60 meter high chimney.
The Four Points by Sheraton Sihlcity Zurich Hotel that opened its doors in 2007 accommodates a part of its building (restaurant and lobby) where the paper factory formerly stored its paper, back in the 1950's. The hotel impressively connects the past and future with its innovative infotainment approach and its interior design. The rooms are functional, elegant and very modern, not leaving anything open to desire. The artist Alex Hanimann highlighted various "Flurnamen" (Flurname: geographical name given by the owner of a small-scale landscape part such as field, forest, pasture, etc. which were developed for local linguistic usage) throughout the hallways of the hotel on neon signs of which the river Sihl passes through on its journey. Names as "Lüsgütsch", "Nuueren", "Gimmerweh" and "Höllenstafel". The bar and lounge as well as various rooms are situated in the new part of the building, which is somewhat of a contradiction. Nevertheless the combination of industrial architecture and its new function as a hotel is worth seeing.