„Angular, airy and ultramodern“
These are the terms that the Swiss press used to describe the new headquarters of the tobacco manufacturer Japan Tobacco International by its inauguration in October 2015.
Located only a few meters away from the United Nations Office and other prestigious international organizations the 86 m long and 51m high building covering a surface area of nearly 28,000 square meters is a real eye-catcher. Its unusual winding shape, emphasized by an impressive steel framework and a revolutionary facade of glass triangles, makes it a special and unique work of art.
Its simultaneously triangular and asymmetrical shape was dictated by the form of the challenging triangular site and the necessity to maximize the useable space. Statically, the building touches the ground at only two points, featuring a vertiginous 60 m long cantilever on the north-east corner and an 80 m column free zone on the southwest side. As such spans are very unusual for building construction the architects adopted a bearing technique generally used for bridge building.
The nine-storey building made of glass and steel blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape and draws references not only from its immediate context but also from Lake Geneva and the Alps. Its all-glass facade offers extremely high levels of transparency and natural light while saving energy for heating and cooling. It is also equipped with a state-of-the-art geothermal heating system. Its “raised” profile also enables the circulation of fresh air which can be used for the ventilation of the building. Bolstered by this host of sustainable features it ranks among the most sustainable buildings in Europe.
The 16,500 square meters of glass of the facade and the 5,600 t steel (corresponding to 12,000 steel girders) of the framework underline harmoniously the unusual geometry of the building, for which 2,500 t Dillinger steel (S355J2+N and S460M) in thicknesses from 12 to 110 mm have been applied.
|Opening date||October 2015|
|Architect||SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP)|
|Building owner||Japan Tobacco International|
|Construction||Implenia Suisse SA, Onex|
|Delivered quantity||2,500 t|
|Wall thickness||12 - 110 mm|
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