Located in Switzerland midway between Geneva and Lausanne, the project is the 75,000 square foot European headquarters for an American based Fortune 500 Corporation. The building is intended to provide workspace for 150 full time employees. It will also be a conference, marketing and public relations facility, anticipating a significant volume of visitors. The headquarters is planned to double in size and eventually connect to a 5,000 square foot shipping facility.
The site of approximately seven acres is located one mile north of Lake Geneva; it is bordered on the north by a major limited access thoroughfare, and to the south by the Swiss railway line. The property is former farmland with a change of terrain of 30 feet from the low end on the south to the north.
The headquarters is located at the highest possible elevation to maximize views to the lake. The workplace component is located in a long, narrow bar with a skin of floor to ceiling glass. The strategy maximizes exposure to natural light and views for all employees. The curtain wall system is triple glazed with internal motorized louvers to ameliorate energy consumption. A more idiosyncratic pavilion skinned in stucco and glass houses amenity functions including entry, exhibit, board room, meeting rooms and food service. The board room, placed on the second level over the entry, has a private terrace with dramatic views to the lake and Alps. The pavilion will link to a second phase expansion of workplace space.
The expression of the building is elemental and minimalist, but rooted in regional building characteristics. The stucco and glass float above foundations and extended landscaping walls of white and black granite. The lightly hued skin is intended to interact with the constantly shifting natural light common to Lake Geneva, creating a building that is always undergoing subtle changes in appearance, both seasonally and within the course of a typical day.