Sabine Keggenhoff attracts stares. There’s no doubting it. I follow her through the city: Her simple black dress, severe hair and slow walk – seemingly unrushed and aimless – makes her stand out from the other passerby on this hot summer day in the centre of Zurich. Squeaking streetcars rattle by, relieving one another. Tourists and locals throng across the intersection, but she stays where she is. The traffic lights change from red to green. People stream past her. She waits – behind her, the horizon, Lake Zurich and, in the distance, the snow-covered mountains.
We walk into Sprüngli, in the heart of the Old Town – outside, on the cobblestones, there are two-dozen coffee house tables full of tourists and, inside the giant tinted glass windows on the ground floor, the chocolate shop. It’s big and colourful, with countless glass cabinets displaying works of confectionary art. Everything fits, because it is as it always was. Of course, there are also tourists, but according to Sabine Keggenhoff, they all stay downstairs. “Upstairs, on the first floor, it’s Zurich locals with their newspapers, their coffee, enjoying themselves as they would in a Viennese coffee house, where you can be but don't have to be. That’s how the whole city is, really. I like that a lot”.
How do you, as an interior designer, see the city?