Perfectly circular openings in ceilings and floors afford views in and through the large corporate building. They provide many opportunities for employees and visitors to see and meet one another. This fosters close contact and exchange among the operating areas of research, further education and administration.
Users of the building sense its size not only outside but inside as well. The atriums crisscross the deep and compact building. The seemingly arbitrary arrangement of circular openings tempers the simple, clear-cut supports and plates that define its structure. In this design, irrational, vertical, baroque vistas and rational, horizontal, ordinary construction meet and are mutually defining. The inner and outer walls of the building are completely separate thermal and structural entities. The hinged pillars in the interior keep changing direction as they follow the diagonal layout of the atriums. Disc-shaped supports on the façade function like wind braces, consisting of breast walls, escape balconies and stairs. The inner and outer loadbearing structures of the building are mutually dependent. The inner pillars support only the floors while the outer ones brace the building as a whole. The shell becomes the core; the skin becomes an exterior skeleton. This gives the concrete building the impression of a technically defined, large-scale façade, which relates the HCC to the industrial landmarks of the surrounding landscape.
Holderbank, Switzerland, 2008
Competition 1st prize.
Main Team Member: Christian Kerez, Michael Buschor.
Structural engineer: Dr. Schwartz Consulting AG, Zug, Joseph Schwartz.
Mechanical consultant: Urs Rieder, Adligenswil
Photo Credit: Hisao Suzuki, Walter Mair, Christian Kerez, Milan Rohrer