Clariden Leu AG

Landmark building Metropol to reopen after two years of renovation work

    Zurich (ots) - After nearly two years of renovation and restoration, Clariden Leu is opening the landmark building known as Metropol, which will become the bank's second prestigious office building in the heart of Zurich. Thanks to the building's new multi-purpose hall and the METROPOL restaurant, which is operated by Zurich based Kramer Gastronomie, much of the ground floor of the Metropol will be accessible to the general public.

    Erected by architect Heinrich Ernst in 1892, the Metropol is one of the most imposing buildings on the left bank of Zurich's Limmat River. Clariden Leu's move into the building following a thorough makeover represents a return to the Metropol's former use as a centre of "bustling business activity". The building contains some 330 modern workstations which will be used by Clariden Leu's Private Banking division. The  move will enable the bank to reduce its former 15 locations in Zurich to six. "We are proud to be making the Metropol our second representative place of business in the heart of Zurich. The building's tradition  reflects the values of our Bank, and its elegant surroundings will meet the high expectations of our clientele," noted Clariden Leu CEO F. Bernard Stalder.

    310 tons of superstructure and earthquake-proofing steel

    The rebuilding of the Metropol posed numerous challenges for Martin Spühler's team of architects and the various contractors which worked on the building, particularly when it came to the construction engineering aspect of the project, making the building earthquake proof, and preserving its landmark features. The degraded condition of the building's substance, owing to the passage of time, combined with modern, stringent earthquake-proofing requirements, translated into greater cost and effort than would otherwise have been the case. 120 containers of debris were carted away and 310 tons of steel were used for the superstructure and to earthquake-proof the building. The inner courtyard was enclosed so as to increase the amount of public space on the ground floor. The renovation project also had to preserve the building's historical features, while still meeting the requirements of a modern bank. At peak period as many as 150 workers were deployed at the site and had a mere six months to complete the job.

    Historical details in a modern context

    The landmark-protected rooms in the client area on the second floor were extensively restored, a project that took 3500 man hours of work, which is the equivalent of two man years. The interiors in the client area, including its 25 meeting rooms, were designed by well-known interior designer Iria Degen. In January 2006, construction workers discovered a nine square meter basement room containing murals by the late Swiss artist Alois Carigiet. Clariden Leu decided to completely restore this room, which is now open to the public.

    The Metropol: a new venue for fine dining and top-notch events

    The METROPOL restaurant and multi-purpose event hall on the ground floor of the Metropol will enable Clariden Leu to open Metropol's doors to the public once again. The bank asked Kramer Gastronomie to operate the METROPOL restaurant and to serve as the bank's partner for rental of the 220 square meter multi-purpose event hall, which was designed by Martin Spühler. The hall will be used for Clariden Leu events, as well as selected public events. The restaurant was designed by Iria Degen.

    Metropol: the historical context     To mark the reopening of the Metropol, Clariden Leu has published a book about the building and its historical context in and around Zurich. The richly illustrated book contains historical and anecdotal essays about Haus Metropol and its era, thus creating a link between the Metropol as it was then and as it is today.

    Milestones of the two year renovation project

    - August 18, 2004: The former Bank Hofmann acquired the Metropol  
        from the city of Zurich along with construction rights for 80
        years.

    - October 8, 2004: A request for proposals was issued for a study
        concerning the renovation of the Metropol.

    - December 23, 2004: The architects' office of Martin Spühler was
        commissioned with the renovation study and awarded the contract
        for planning and implementation of the Metropol  project.

    - January 2005 to July 2007: Renovation phase.

    - August 2007: Clariden Leu moved into the Metropol.

    Clariden Leu Ltd came into being on January 26, 2007, as a result of the merger of Credit Suisse's four private banks - Clariden, Bank Leu, Bank Hofmann, and BGP Banca di Gestione Patrimoniale - as well as the securities dealer Credit Suisse Fides. It is a leading private bank offering a comprehensive and high-quality range of products and advisory services. With over 20 offices worldwide, Clariden Leu serves wealthy clients with demanding wealth management and product requirements, external asset managers, and wholesale clients. With assets under management of some CHF 133 billion (as at June 30, 2007), Clariden Leu is one of Switzerland's biggest asset managers.

ots Originaltext: Clariden Leu AG
Internet: www.presseportal.ch/fr

Contact:
Thomas Ackermann
Head Marketing & Communications Clariden Leu
Tel. direct.:    +41/58/205'34'44
E-Mail:              thomas.ackermann@claridenleu.com

Dagmar Laub
Head Communications Clariden Leu
Tel. direct:        +41/58/205'37'10
E-Mail:                dagmar.laub@claridenleu.com



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