The ‘Sihlpost’: a Zürich landmark with the latest automatic doors from GEZE

With its distinctive clock tower which can be seen from far away, the main office of the post service in Zürich – the ‘Sihlpost’ – is a historic landmark in the town. Built in the New Building (Neues Bauen) style, the 123 metre long square building was the most modern post office in the world when it was completed in 1930. Today, the historic building is used as a modern town hall – with multifunctional, automatic doors and safety technology by GEZE.

A Zürich landmark with fresh interior features

Drive Slimdrive SL-FR 2M, ISO-Glas fitting Slimdrive SL RC2, glass pane, GC 363 R combined detector, GC 363 SF combined detector, AS 500 push button, GC 339 light curtain, ceiling installation kit GC 363, ceiling bracket GC 339 hinged cover

Sliding door drive for emergency exit with combined detector © Lorenz Frey / GEZE GmbH

Building owner the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) invested 45 million Swiss francs in an extensive renovation of the Sihlpost in Zürich. The building was adapted to the latest building standards under the direction of Max Dudler Architekten AG. Today, the listed building accommodates more than just a post office. With a completely new design for the interior and a fresh external façade, it is used as a modern town hall for trade, hospitality, business and training purposes. GEZE contributes to the safe and convenient use of the building with modern, multi-functional automatic doors and safety technology.

The three large and eye-catching glass portals on the impressive building front serve as entrances to the main hall and to the separate locker area. The portals are fine-framed for maximum transparency and therefore visually discreet. They have been inserted into the double leaf automatic glass sliding doors, which are almost 300 centimetres tall and 320 centimetres wide, and lie within the façade and vestibules. With power, performance and safety, they offer accessibility, a safe emergency exit and increased burglar resistance.

Intelligent Slimdrive SLT SL FR drive systems

The Slimdrive SL FR drive systems for escape and rescue route doors assure ‘free access’ in case of danger. The subtle Slimdrive drive units, in a typical GEZE 70 millimetre look, conceal modern, intelligent control technology. Their hold-open time adapts to the usage frequency. If the stream of visitors increases, the door leaves are automatically kept open for longer. The motion parameters (acceleration, hold-open time and opening and closing speeds) can be set individually. The Slimdrive’s control unit ensures the doors are future-proof and enables system integration into the building system so that the door functions can be monitored and modified remotely as well.

Maximum opening widths

The new design means that more people use the Sihlpost building than ever before and so direct access to the KV Zürich Business School building has been created to run via the renamed Sihlpostgasse. In the limited space of the building opening, a maximum opening width of 250 centimetres has been created using a 4-leaf automatic telescopic sliding door system with specific Slimdrive SLT drive systems in the emergency exit design. The ‘stacking’ of the door leaves is not a problem with this solution. Skylights permit maximum usage of the daylight. 

Safety and efficiency in service sectors

The traditional vegetarian restaurant Hiltl opted for the certified quality of GEZE solutions for their basement fire protection doors – which serve as fire protection closers. They selected fully automatic sliding door solutions with fire-resistance class EI30. These guarantee that the room remains sealed to keep out fire, smoke and heat. An exceptionally strong Powerdrive PL drive easily and almost silently moves the large, heavy and wide-opening metal swing door into the storage warehouse – .

A double-leaf metal sliding door with viewing windows and a Slimdrive SL NT drive accessibly, safely, quickly and quietly tackles the constant comings and goings ‘’of the service staff in the restaurant kitchen. In accordance with its function as a fire protection closer, these doors close with the pre-stored energy if there is a power failure. This permanently assures the closing function in the event of a fire. In the event of fire, the doors close automatically and form a safe fire protection closer – even if the automatic door was previously set to the hold-open function.