The story begins in 1928 with the biggest cinema in Zurich

From the beginning in 1928 a magnet for Zurich


The building was completed in 1928 according to plans by architect Ernst Zuppinger. It was a highly modern concrete building, conceived as a residential and commercial building with a restaurant, a department store and the Light and Play Theatre Forum, the largest cinema in Zurich with 1700 seats. In addition to the guest in the forum, all the Variété celebrities of the time will also be guests. The Forum, originally conceived as a simple cinema for the Volksquartier, was a glittering attraction at the opening. This was underscored by the remarkable neon lighting of that time, the largest of its time. Green light bands surrounded the street-side facades of the building, while the large signs made of green and red tubes shone far into the night. The commemorative publication on the opening of the Zurich Forum Forum light palace not only noted the opening programme, but also provided detailed information on the building, interior design and architectural plans and constructions, which were ambitious and well thought-out in every respect. Thus, the yardstick was set high for the makers of the new forum. However, we can proudly claim to have regained all these points to Zurich..

The architecture

Southern lifestyle and the relationship to the street are guaranteed by the large window fronts, which thanks to their lowered front construction can disappear completely into the ground in summer and allow a seamless transition from outside to inside. The 23-metre-long walnut wall, which conceals a secret, is responsible for warmth and well-being: its irregular grooves not only serve to improve room acoustics and an interesting interplay of light and shadow. Rather, they are texts converted into barcodes.

Timeless in design

For the Forum Floor, a technique of the 1970s – synthocret flooring or stone carpet – has been reinterpreted: with its epoxy-bound Jurassic limestone sand, it presents itself as a bright beach. The subdued colours are also discreetly sophisticated, such as the interior design and room layout. The architecture should not be pushed into the foreground, but should offer guests and hosts a friendly ambience, an optimal platform. For this reason, apart from the bar, nothing is firmly anchored in the room – openness and flexibility is also here. And as a small reminiscence of the former cinema, a screen is stretched out behind the bar. From time to time moving and moving pictures are shown there, as well as concerts etc., and of course important football games like the southern model:

  • The walnut wall is a barcode and means “most of all we need the funk, nothing but the funk, everything is not the one….”
  • The WCs with the concept of “room in space” are a focus in their own right. Reached the 2nd place in BEST toilets in China.