Solar manufacturer Sputnik Engineering’s new Swiss headquarters is - not surprisingly - powered almost entirely by the sun. Designed by Burckhardt + Partner, the sprawling building has a double height ground floor with plenty of windows that flood the open-plan offices with natural light. Sputnik, which does business as Solar Max, lined the roof with solar panels to provide the facility with a powerful source of renewable energy.
The Sputnik Engineering production and administration building looks idyllic, sitting on the edge of a beautiful sunflower field in Biel, Switzerland. The cavernous 127,000 square foot complex is home to only 500 employees, giving flexible working space for the entire staff. Made from steel and sustainable wood, the glass curtain façade is covered with slatted wooden louvers, which filter in ample light while deflecting solar gain. A line of skylights throughout the building also ensure maximum natural light.
The headquarters include a lobby that doubles as an exhibition space, interior greened courtyard, open plan offices, a restaurant and two additional floors of offices that overlook the double-height lobby. Winding staircases bring employees from floor to floor in the massive space.
Aside from the massive photovoltaic array on the roof, Sputnik says the headquarters’ power is all derived from renewable energy, which nabbed it a Minergie certification. Sputnik chose Burckhardt + Partner’s open office design over dozens of entries in a company-held competition.