One of our favorite firms, Herzog & de Meuron recently completed this cantilevered office building in Allschwil, Switzerland. Called the Actelion Business Center, the structure is composed of rectangular volumes that appear to hover over one another like blocks in a game of Tetris. The center is equipped with energy-saving features like self-shading and solar panels and also boasts grass-carpeted terraces that reduce stormwater runoff and keep the building cool.
The business center has 350 offices within its light-filled interior and was designed with the goal of creating an open, communication-orieneted atmosphere for employees. Many of the windows are floor-to-ceiling, triple-glazed glass, allowing daylight to flow in and relieve workers from the claustrophobic feeling that plagues many workplaces today. Also in keeping with the open theme of the design is a lack of ducts and piping in the walls so as not to create communicative barriers. On top of all of that, one of the best employee perks is that there are green roof terraces located on the third and fifth floors – what a nice, peaceful place to take your lunch!
Like with many of Herzog & de Meuron‘s other works, the Actelion was designed with carbon neutrality as one of its goals. As such, it has quite a few sustainable features. The building has built-in self-shading that works by inclining the glass facades of the upper floor offices downwards. The triple-glazed windows are all equipped with louvers that automatically adjust depending on the sun’s position. In addition, the Actelion also gets a portion of the energy it uses via photovoltaic cells.
Images © Scisar