Art in Zurich with Illustrator Elena Knecht.

Locke am PlatzEngeZurich

Art in Zurich with Illustrator Elena Knecht.

Get to know our new home; Zurich. We caught up with Locke am Platz Keycard Designer and local Elena Knecht. Chatting life in Zurich and the inspirations behind her unique designs.

Locke is coming to Zurich. Inspired by the Zurich Riviera, Locke am Platz will be our first Swiss location, and we’re getting excited about our new home.

We spoke to Elena Knecht, an Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Zurich local, about her collaboration with Locke, the inspiration behind her designs for Locke am Platz’s key cards and all things art and culture in one of Switzerland’s city of cool.

At Locke we like to work with local up-and-coming artists and designers. Their insight into the city helps us understand its life, culture and ways of being.


For Locke am Platz we got in touch with Elena Knecht, asking her to design Locke am Platz’s key cards, inspired by her experience of the city.


We chatted about life in Zurich, her design and she gave us her top five museums and galleries to visit when it comes to art and culture in the city.


Elena’s ‘top five’.


We asked Elena her top five art or cultural spots in Zurich. She goes to feel inspired. As Elena is heavily inspired by nature, she picked a range of museums and gardens across the city. We explored her recommendations on our last trip to Zurich. So, we can highly recommend that they are worth a visit.


1. Kunsthaus Zürich


Heimpl. 1/5, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland.

The largest art museum in Switzerland. The Kunsthaus Zürich has wonderful exhibitions and is huge, full of treasures from the 15th century to present day. The newest building is an architectural dream.

<p>Kunsthaus Z&uuml;rich.</p>

Kunsthaus Zürich.

2. Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich


Karl-Schmid-Strasse 4, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland.

The Zoological Museum has artefacts from many different animal species and is an important educational and scientific source in the city. It's also great for spending the day watching and sketching the animals and people around.

<p>Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich.</p>

Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich.

3. Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich


Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

With large modern domes and glasshouses and an array of international and local plants. It's one of my favourite places in Zurich! I love botanical gardens because you feel like you're in a world of your own.

<p>Botanical Garden.</p>

Botanical Garden.

<p>Botanical Garden.</p>

Botanical Garden.

4. Museum of Design, Zurich (Museum für Gestaltung Zürich)


Ausstellungsstrasse 60, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland

A museum for design and visual communication with exciting exhibitions. With around 500,000 objects and artefacts it’s a world leader in fields of product design, graphic design and visual communication like typefaces, photography and more.

<p>Museum of Design, Zurich.</p>

Museum of Design, Zurich.

5. Stadtgärtnerei


Sackzelg 25, 8047 Zürich, Switzerland

A city centre garden full of plants and vegetables. A lovely place to spend the day sketching and drawing or catching up with friends.

<p>Stadtg&auml;rtnerei.</p>

Stadtgärtnerei.

Get to know Elena.

  • How did you end up collaborating with Locke?

    One of the Locke team contacted me to design the kay cards for Locke am Platz. It was an exciting commission for me because I had never worked with a hotel before, and it was a project with creative freedom.
  • What was the inspiration behind your key card design?

    The idea for the key card illustration was to bring both facets together. Every city has both an outside and inside. Outside, the city itself with its sounds, people, animals, smells, etc. And on the other hand, the world from inside one of its buildings or rooms, which remains hidden for many and can usually only be accessed with a key.

  • What aspects of Zurich, the city/people and life did you want to convey in your key card design? 

    It was important to me to include one of Zurich’s main sights. I chose one of Zurich's famous churches, the Fraumünster. In my opinion, a Zurich tram had to be in the illustration, because they are synonymous with Zurich.
  • What’s your process when it comes to designing your graphics?

    Firstly, I like to sketch out my ideas roughly on a sheet of paper first. Then I go to my tablet to refine the illustration. After the client has chosen one of the sketches/ideas, I start to work digitally. I prefer to work with surfaces, structures and lots of colours. Animals and plants almost always appear in my illustrations in some way.

  • What do you find inspiring about Zurich? 

    The different styles of architecture, the possibility to go anywhere quickly and at any time by bike, bus, tram or train. The size of the city also makes it easy to get to many places on foot, which I really appreciate. I also love the different food cultures. But what I love most about Zurich is the countryside. Although you're in a big and busy city, you have easy access to parks, lakes, rivers or forests in and around the city.

Dreaming of Zurich?

<p>View over Lake Zurich.</p>

View over Lake Zurich.

Inspired by Riviera glamour and located in leafy lakeside Enge, Locke am Platz opens Autumn 2023. Just in time for ski season, picturesque mountain landscapes and the infamous Christmas markets.

Explore Locke am Platz.

Locke am Platz

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Enjoy the best of both worlds with a lakeside location and easy access to the city. Discover 80 rooms and studios close to Paradeplatz and Bahnhofstrasse.

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