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Zurich airport is setting out to complement its striking Alpine backdrop with a clutch of striking new buildings.

Steelwork erection has started on the new check-in hall, which will be topped with an unusual 40m by 30m lens-shaped cable net roof. A team including consultant Arup, Swiss engineer Ernst Basler & Partners plus architects Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and Itten & Brechboehl were briefed to increase the airport's capacity and improve the calibre of its architecture. Work includes demolition of existing buildings and comprehensive remodelling of transport infrastructure, and is being shoe-horned in around normal airport operations. The job is scheduled for completion in autumn 2004.

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