CreaTower I Office High-rise

The CreaTower I office high-rise (40 metres) is currently under construction in the Tech Cluster Zug. Together with the CreaTower II residential building placed on a large plinth, it forms a harmonious ensemble and creates a central square, which also includes the vertical sculpture Semiramis (Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich).

The ten-storey block is accessed via an arcade facing the public square. The new building has an almost square column grid with a slightly off-centre, two-part core. The bays along the façades accommodate the workplaces in various arrangements, as well as the meeting rooms and the inset, two-storey terraces. The four interior bays adjacent to the core are a place of exchange and informal meetings, with helically ascending, two-storey atriums and open spiral staircases. It is this central void, with horizontal and vertical views and varying headroom, which connects the floors into a continuous, inspiring work landscape. At the same time, the sequence of these diverse spaces gives the users a sense of scale and intimacy. The terraces feature intensive planting and are arranged in staggered pairs that spatially connect three storeys. The entrance hall with the customer centre is located on the ground floor, while the top floor houses the communal areas with a patio as a spacious outdoor lounge.

The supporting structure is a prefabricated modular construction with columns, beams and five-part vaults. The latter are only subjected to compressive loads, utilise ribs and have correspondingly slender dimensions. These are RFS ceilings that were developed by the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich during the last decade. Using a 1:1 mock-up, the vault was tested for deformations, vibrations, structural and spatial acoustics, fire resistance, building services installations, manufacture and costs, thus demonstrating its feasibility. Compared to a conventional slab construction, the column, beam and vault structure has significantly less mass and saves around 60% CO2 emissions. As the ceiling bays can be easily opened or closed during the life cycle, the load-bearing system meets the client’s requirements for adaptability. The ribs trace the undersides of the vaults, frame the acoustic surfaces and create a striking ornamental pattern that characterises the appearance of the interior spaces. On the façades, the internal vaults can be made out by the curved lintels at the openings which define the external appearance of the building.

by Philippe Block and Mike Guyer at «15. Schweizer Betonforum», 07.06.2023, ETH Zurich
«CreaTower I – RFS Decken» (PDF Download)

Location Zug, Switzerland

Programme Office high-rise (40 m) with 420 workplaces,
foyer, meeting rooms, cafeteria,
ground floor with public areas: café/ bistro

Feasibility Study 2022, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2023–2028

Client Urban Assets Zug AG, Zug
User: VZ Depotbank AG

Gross Floor Area 13‘272 m2 (competiton)

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Stefan Thommen (Team Manager), Daniela Schadegg (Project Manager until Oct. 2023), Urs Meyer (Project Manager from Nov. 2023), Ivana Beljan, Urh Urbancic, , Nathalie Reiz
Competition: Stefan Thommen, Carlo Magnaguagno, Dylan Kreuzer, Sophie Ballweg

Site Management Büro für Bauökonomie AG, Lucerne

Construction Management Büro für Bauökonomie AG, Lucerne

General Planning Gigon/Guyer and Büro für Bauökonomie AG, Lucerne

Landscape Architecture Bischoff Landschaftsarchitektur GmbH, Baden

Cost Planning/Scheduling Büro für Bauökonomie AG, Lucerne

Structural Engineer Walt Galmarini AG, Zurich
Vaulted Ceilings (RFS): Vaulted AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Jules Haefliger AG, Lucerne

Building Physics Engineer Lemon Consult AG, Basel/ Zurich

Fire Safety Jules Haefliger AG, Lucerne

MSRL Jules Haefliger AG, Lucerne

Heating/Cooling 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Ventilation Engineer 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Acoustical Engineer Lemon Consult AG, Basel/ Zurich

Lighting Consultant Reflexion AG, Zurich

Plumbing 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Sprinkler Consultant Josef Ottiger + Partner AG, Rothenburg

Facade Dr. Lüchinger+Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Door Consultant Jules Haefliger AG, Lucerne

Traffic Engineer Schneiter Verkehrsplanung AG, Zurich

Sustainability Lemon Consult AG, Basel/ Zurich

Other Photovoltaic System
facade: Dr. Lüchinger+Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich
roof: Jules Haefliger AG, Lucerne
Smoke Protection Pressure System (RDA): Enfors AG, Sempach
Utility Lines Planning: blesshess AG, Lucerne

Model Modellbau Zaborowsky GmbH, Zurich

Visualization Ponnie Images, Aachen (Germany)

Video of the mock-up © VAULTED AG

Extention Canton School Reussbühl

Location Lucerne

Programme New building for 18 classes (550 students) with single and double gymnasium,
outdoor sports facility and new design of the campus

Competition March – July 2022, 1st Prize

Gross Floor Area 11‘809 m2

Competition Organzier Finanzdepartement Kanton Luzern

Team G/G Mike Guyer, Stefan Thommen, Carlo Magnaguagno, Dylan Kreuzer, Sophie Ballweg, Vanessa Ebert (I), Thea Bonatz (I)

Landscape Architecture antón landschaft gmbh, Zurich

Structural Engineer WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Visualization Ponnie, Cologne, Germany

Extension Housing Development Brunnenhof

Location Zurich

Programme High-rise building 40 m
Ground floor: public use, common room
1st–2nd floors: office space
3rd–12th floor: 20 5.5-room apartments

Commission 2020

Planning/Construction 2020–2028
ARGE Erweiterung Brunnenhof
Architecture: Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architects, Zurich
Construction Management: Güntensperger Baumanagement AG, Zurich

Client Stiftung Wohnungen für kinderreiche Familien, Zurich
Client’s Representative: Basler & Hofmann AG, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 4‘572.8 m2

Team G/G Pieter Rabijns (Team Manager), Ivana Beljan, Jannis Poncelet (I)

Landscape Architecture Uniola AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer Meichtry & Widmer AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer IBG Engineering AG, St. Gallen

Building Services Engineer Balzer Ingenieure AG, Winterthur

Building Physics Engineer Durable Planung und Beratung GmbH, Zurich

Fire Safety Balzer Ingenieure AG, Chur

Acoustical Engineer Durable Planung und Beratung GmbH, Zurich

Coordination Balzer Ingenieure AG, Winterthur

Colours Adrian Schiess, Zurich

Other Project plan: Suter von Känel Wild Planer und Architekt AG, Zurich

Visualization Gigon/Guyer

New Social Insurance Centre WAS (Wirtschaft Arbeit Soziales)
Areal Eichhof West

Location Kriens, Switzerland

Programme Offices 700 workplaces, seminar rooms, canteen, cafeteria

Competition 2020, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2020–2025

Client WAS Immobilien AG, Lucerne

Gross Floor Area 24‘540 m2

Team G/G Competition: Stefan Thommen, Lukas Kübli, Dario Caccialupi, Jan Zimmermann (I)
Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Team Manager), Matthias Clivio (Project Manager), Damien Andenmatten, Christoph Lay, Franzis Gericks, Roman Vetterli, Emilia Lienhard (I), Lilo Nöske (I), Jannis Sachmerda (I), Christoph Stahel (I), Zoe Steurer (I), Diana Strässle (I)

Total Contractor General Planning (preliminary design phase until total contractor tendering )
GP WAS GmbH, Lucerne:
GKS Architekten Generalplaner AG, Lucerne
with Gigon/Guyer Architects;
Total Contractor (from total contractor tendering)
Anliker AG Generalunternehmung, Emmenbrücke

Landscape Architecture Planting courtyard and roof terraces: Lorenz Eugster, Zurich

Cost Planning/Scheduling TGS Bauökonomen AG, Lucerne (preliminary design phase until total contractor tendering)

Structural Engineer Competition: EBP Schweiz AG, Zurich
Planning/Construction: CES Bauingenieur AG, Hergiswil

Electrical Engineer Jules Häfliger AG, Lucerne

Building Services Engineer Competition: EBP Schweiz AG, Zurich
Planning/Construction: 3-Plan Haustechnik AG, Winterthur

Building Physics Engineer 2226 AG, St. Gallen

Fire Safety Technik im Bau AG, Lucerne

Facade Feroplan Engineering AG, Zurich

Door Consultant PZM Luzern AG, Horw

Signage Designalltag Rinderer GmbH, Winterthur

Other Restaurant Planning: Creative Gastro Concept & Design AG, Hergiswil

BIM GKS Architekten Generalplaner AG, Lucerne (preliminary design phase until total contractor tendering)

Visualization Gigon/Guyer

Extension Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop «Josef-Albers-Galerie»

Awards 2023
– Architekturpreis 2023 BDA (Bund Deutscher Architekten) Vest Recklinghausen Gelsenkirchen
– Arc Award 2023, Winning project


A two-story wing has been added to the “Josef Albers Museum Quadrat”, situated in Bottrop’s historical park Stadtgarten. It accommodates temporary exhibitions and additional space for museum education, art storage and the workshop.

The new structure is situated to the northeast of the judge’s villa from 1913 and the museum buildings by Bernhard Küppers from the 1970s and ‘80s, which form the existing ensemble. The shape, materials and colours of the extension were chosen so that the different construction periods and their respective architectures remain legible but nonetheless form a new harmonic whole. The added volume has a rectangular footprint like the historical villa and is offset from the adjacent wing in such a way as to preserve the trees and the views to the north-east from the existing rooms. The pond, which was created after the last construction phase in the 1980s, has been moved a few metres closer to the access road, thus enhancing its presence.

Contrasting with Küppers’s steel and glass pavilions, the new extension appears as a compact structure with only a few deliberately placed openings, while its materials and colours refer to the older buildings. A cladding of powder-coated metal panels envelops the volume and forms a brim around the sawtooth rooflights. Along the outermost rooflight, the cladding tilts forward and generates a light funnel. In a similar fashion, the north-western facade partly unfolds to create a protected outdoor delivery area.

The ground floor on the Stadtgarten level contains the workshop, the art depot, an office and the library as well as the two educational rooms. The latter are accessed via the exhibition level and are oriented towards the pond.

Museum visitors enter the new tract via a connecting bridge from which a window affords a view of the park. The trapezoidal plan of the bridge makes it seem longer upon arrival and shorter on the way back.

The path through the eight exhibition rooms of varying dimensions is partly meandering and partly straight. Four large windows, one on each side of the building, enable visitors to enjoy vistas of the park, and passers-by to look into the museum. The works of art are largely illuminated from above by the sawtooth rooflights. The spatial proportions, the door and window openings, as well as the surface materials are selected to foster the perception of the art. Art takes priority: it has not simply been given more room in the extension; it has also been given “breathing space”.

Location Bottrop, Germany

Programme 8 exhibition rooms for temporary exhibitions, Park level: Museum education, art depot, workshop, material storage, specialist library, office, building services, deliveries

Competition 2016, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2016–2022
ARGE Josef Albers Museum Quadrat,
Joint venture of Gigon/Guyer and pbr

Client City of Bottrop, Department of Real Estate Management
Occupant: Josef Albers Museum . Quadrat Bottrop

Gross Floor Area 1‘996 m2

Team G/G Competition: Stefan Thommen, Sarah Haubner, Daniel Hurschler Planning/Construction: Pieter Rabijns (Team Manager), Philippe Volpe

Site Management pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Landscape Architecture Büro Drecker, Bottrop, Germany

Structural Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Electrical Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Building Services Engineer pbr Planungsbüro Rohling AG, Osnabrück, Germany

Building Physics Engineer a°blue GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

Fire Safety Das Ingenieurhaus Borgert Keller Witte, Bornheim, Germany

Acoustical Engineer a°blue GmbH, Hamburg, Germany

Lighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik, Stuttgart, Germany

Other Project Management: Kempen Krause Ingenieure GmbH, Cologne office, Germany

Photos Stefan Müller, Berlin, Germany

Film Severin Kuhn, Zurich

Address Anni-Albers-Platz 1 46236 Bottrop, Deutschland

Awards Arc Award 2023, winning project
Architekturpreis 2023 BDA (Bund Deutscher Architekten) Vest Recklinghausen Gelsenkirchen, Award


Housing Development Zellweger-Areal

The Zellweger complex, set on a former industrial site, boasts outstanding landscape features. Two large ponds, originally created to generate energy from hydropower, a stretch of river, and a park-like area with mature trees define the site. The site is demarcated by the pond Zellweger-Weiher and the Aabach stream. Two residential buildings of differing heights are positioned here in alignment with the promenade of plane trees by the pond in the north and the tree-lined course of the stream in the southeast. The two buildings create an L-shaped green area between them, opening up to the west onto a group of trees and an existing high-rise office building.

Broad paths lead to the buildings through the open garden area, beneath which the garage is located. Pines are planted on the gently contoured lawn like green sculptures. The private front gardens at ground level are set off from the public green areas with spruce wood fences. These are framed by open, elegant concrete structures that also provide parking spaces for bicycles and contain mailboxes and shafts providing natural ventilation for the underground garage.

The northern eight-story building along Weiherallee contains 74 rental apartments, a bistro, two nurseries and a day care club. The building on the new Zellwegerweg, set along the Aabach, ranges from three to five stories in height and houses 61 rental apartments along with a multi-purpose common room. Most of the apartments in both buildings have living/dining/kitchen areas that extend through the building, opening onto both the green inner courtyard and the pond or stream. The principle of the living/dining room extending from front to back was articulated differently in the two buildings. In the building on Zellwegerweg the space narrows in the middle to form an entrance area and then widens again to either side to form distinct zones for the living room and eat-in kitchen at opposite ends of the apartment. The rooms are arranged around the periphery of this central space. In the building on Weiherallee the entrance area provides access to the rooms and leads to the living/dining room that runs across the apartment. The subtle angling of the balconies offers outdoor areas of varying depths and provides a formal echo to the large-scale angled sections of the two buildings, adding a lively and sculptural touch to the volumes of these two housing ensembles.

The façades are articulated by layers of rhythmically offset thermally modified spruce wood planks and openwork prefabricated concrete parapets, which protrude somewhat beyond the wooden cladding to protect it from the weather. On the balconies, the concrete band projects further forward to form the parapet.

Location Uster, Switzerland

Programme Two structures in a parkway with 135 apartments, common room, bistro, day care, two nurseries, two underground parkings 149 pitches

Competition 2008, 1st Prizes

Planning/Construction 2009–2013

Client Zellweger Park AG, Uster
Client’s Representative: Odinga und Hagen AG, Uster

Gross Floor Area 24‘713 m2

Team G/G Daniel Friedmann, Reto Killer, Eric Sommerlatte, Karsten Buchholz

Site Management b+p baurealisation ag, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Hager Partner AG, Zurich

Structural Engineer Schnetzer Puskas Ingenieure AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer Mühlebach Partner AG, Wiesendangen

Art within Architecture Lutz / Guggisberg

Office High-rise Andreasturm

The office high-rise Andreasturm is situated on a triangular plot of land that has become available between the spread of railway tracks at Oerlikon station. The pentagonal tower, the property of the Swiss Federal Railways, is 80 m high, with 22 above-ground and four below-ground storeys.

Precisely placed cantilevers on the 12th floor divide the building into a middle and a head section, making it look slender or flat from a distance, depending on one’s vantage point.

An expansive base anchors the structure in its surroundings and opens it up on three levels. The main entrance with public facilities and a small, new plaza face the traffic-calmed Andreasstrasse. The premises of anchor tenant Amstein + Walthert are accessed directly from the higher railroad platform while the delivery entrance is on the lower street to the rear.

A well-appointed, double-height lobby welcomes tenants and visitors, who reach the upper stories via the lift lobby. An open staircase leads up to the first floor and the main tenant‘s reception desk. The tenant’s public spaces are arranged around a central core: a “piano nobile” with conference rooms, a gallery and a staff restaurant in the protruding portion of the base.

The skeleton of the high-rise is reinforced concrete with a double-shell element façade. Flat slabs span up to 9.30 meters between the core and the prefabricated concrete supports along the façade. The column-free spaces allow for flexible layouts and workplaces with natural daylight. The double-shell façade consists of an inner layer with slender windows that can be individually opened, and exterior glazing with horizontal parapet bands, into which copper and gold coloured inlays have been laminated, their tone varying to match the angled surfaces of the façade. The appearance of the building changes depending on the weather and lighting: at times, the tower may look like a flat, reflecting surface; at others, one can see the filigree vertical structure of the interior.

Location Zurich-Oerlikon, Switzerland

Programme 26-storey office building (4 underground, 22 above ground), 1,200 workplaces, offices, conference area, restaurant, retail, underground parking
Tenants: engineering office, medical centre, start-ups, university institutes

Competition 2-phase, 2013, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2013–2018

Client SBB AG, Zurich
EBP Schweiz AG, Zurich

Gross Floor Area 35‘517 m2

Team G/G Planning/ Construction: Stefan Thommen (Team Manager), Matthias Clivio (Project Manager basic construction), Luisa Wittgen (Project Manager tenant fitout), Christoph Lay, Nicolas Hunkeler, Christian Gammeter
Competition: Stefan Thommen, Mathias Rösner, Rodrigo Jorge, Thomas Möckel, Leyla Ilman

Site Management Ghisleni Planen und Bauen GmbH, Zurich (until Submission)

Total Contractor Implenia (from Submission)

General Contractor GGG Gigon Guyer Ghisleni Generalplaner Andreasturm AG (until Submission/ SIA Subphase 5)

Landscape Architecture Studio Vulkan, Zurich

Structural Engineer WaltGalmarini AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Building Physics Engineer BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik, Zurich

MSRL Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Heating/Cooling Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Ventilation Engineer Amstein + Walthert AG, Zurich

Acoustical Engineer BAKUS Bauphysik & Akustik, Zurich

Lighting Consultant Ernst Basler + Partner AG, Zurich
tenant fitout: A+W: Reflexion AG, Zurich

Facade Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Sustainability «DGNB Platin»

Interior Design tenant fitout A+W: Annette Gigon / Mike Guyer Architekten, Zurich
Trix Wetter, Zurich

Signage Integral Ruedi Baur, Zurich

Photos © Roman Keller

Housing Development, Färberei-Areal

Four new buildings were planned for the site of the former “Färberei”, or textiledyeing factory, to be constructed in successive stages in order to establish an ensemble together with the refurbished “Blue Factory”. This former industrial area is thus gradually developing into an urban residential, commercial, and office district. The elongated, cubic buildings are set into the hillside like a fan, creating flowing interim spaces that expand to form plazas. The colors of the buildings were developed during the various construction phases in collaboration with the artist Harald F. Müller.

House 1

In the long, five-story House 1, constructed parallel to the steep slope that descends down to the lake, 35 apartments are arranged in a variable mix of 3.5 to 7.5 rooms. The two floors adjacent to the Blue Factory hold flexibly dividable office spaces, while a day-care center is provided on the ground floor.

A characteristic of the single-story apartments is the arrangement of the rooms around a central living and dining area, with a connection to the kitchen. Each apartment possesses two loggias that are integrated into the building volume and extend the continuous living space toward the lake and to the south. Floor-toceiling windows enhance the sense of spaciousness. These let southern light into the rooms and provide vistas over Lake Zurich to the north and the lakeshore opposite. The outdoor spaces in the penthouses are designed as large patios that not only open to the façade, but also to the sky. Due to the hillside location, the typology changes to duplex apartments on the two lower floors. Here, the daytime area with living and dining rooms and kitchen extends over the entire depth of the upper floor, while the nighttime area with bedrooms facing the lake is situated on the ground floor.

The grid pattern of the monolithic load-bearing exposed concrete structure defines the exterior. The concrete surfaces of the façade are washed in white, while a metallic note is introduced for the components in the façade openings: in the wood-aluminum window frames, in the blinds, and in the glass parapets’ subtly reflective surfaces. Glossy silver paint was used for the elevator cores, while the concrete walls of the staircases are painted a matt yellow-green in some areas, and treated with a transparent glaze in others.

House 2 and 3

In the concluding phase of development, two further buildings, with a small park set in front, will complete the ensemble in the northwestern part of the site. In house 2 the emphasis is on smaller, low-cost rental apartments for families, while house 3 focuses on providing housing suitable for older people.

In order to make the most of the sunny southwestern side of the building, which is however exposed to noise, single-story apartments were created for house 2 with a living, cooking, and dining area that runs through the entire depth of the building but which is set at an angle. This floor plan produces a varied assortment of 48 apartments ranging in size from 2.5 to 4.5 rooms. The bathrooms, ancillary areas, and circulation cores are arranged in the central part of each apartment, dividing the living area into two spaces of equal size and hence offering flexible use. In the eastern part of the building the upward slope of the site makes it possible to offer duplex apartments on the ground floor. At the western tip of the building, facing the square, rooms for public use are incorporated into the design.

The compact footprint of house 3 allows for five 2.5- to 5.5-room apartments on each floor. Two apartments are open to the exterior on one side, facing southwest, and two wrap around the corner of the building on the southeast side. The fifth apartment, oriented toward three sides, is located on the northwest side of the building. This floor-plan configuration, incorporating apartments of differing sizes on each floor, coupled with a care facility at ground level, responds primarily to the needs of older residents.

The exterior of both residential blocks uses light beige and pebble-gray glazes. These subdued tones are complemented by brighter colors in the interior stairwells, which are lit from above via skylights.

House 5

A site in the southwestern portion of the plot, near the railway tracks and sloping down on two sides, was chosen for a six-story building with eleven condominiums. A range of variously configured single-level units was developed for this building, complemented by specially designed penthouse and duplex apartments. On the upper floors the apartments open to the exterior on three, or even four, sides, affording vistas both over the lake and to the mountain panorama in the south. Due to the steep slope of the site, the apartments on the lower stories are open only on the side facing the lake to the northeast. The design nonetheless incorporates generously proportioned outside areas for all apartments: the two upper apartments enjoy large roof terraces thanks to the slanted form of the building volume, while elsewhere in the building the apartments include either one or two loggias depending on size. In addition, the two ground-level apartments have external seating areas.

Accentuating the play of light in the stairwell, the inner-facing longitudinal wall is painted gold from the top to the bottom of the building, complemented in the entrance area by a pink-painted portion on the facing wall. The load-bearing monolithic exposed concrete façade structure is finished in a brown glaze, while all cutouts in the building volume and all façade openings, loggias, and roof terraces are left unpainted. A subtle golden anodized finish is utilized on the exterior for the wood and aluminum window frames.

Location Thalwil, Switzerland

Programme 114 apartments with partly public uses, offices, underground parking, 190 parking spaces
House 1: 5-storey new building, 35 apartments with 3.5–7.5 rooms, 900 m2 of flexibly divisible office space on two floors
House 2 & 3: Two 5-storey new buildings, House 2: 48 apartments with 2.5–4.5 rooms
House 3: 20 apartments with 2.5–5.5 rooms, ground floor: space for public use
House 5: 6-storey new building, 11 condominiums, 3.5–6.5 rooms

Competition 1998, 1st Prize

Commission House 2 & 3: 2008

Planning/Construction House 1 & 5: 2005–2008
House 2 & 3: 2008–2012

Client House 1: Weidmann Management AG, Thalwil
House 2 & 3: Ornak AG, Thalwil
House 5: Lerch Immobilien AG, Winterthur

Gross Floor Area Total: 31'033 m2
House 2: 10‘650 m2
House 3: 4‘450 m2
House 5: 3'183 m2
House 1: 12'750 m2

Team G/G Michael Winklmann (Team Manager)
House 2 & 3: Cornelia Schmidt (Projekt Manager from 2010), Lucía Gratz, Anna Dreykluft, Ingo Brinkmann, Daniela Bergmann, Martin Schiess, Meret Morgenthaler, Martin Bischofberger, Christoph Dober, Alex Zeller, Griet Aesaert, Daniel Trepte
House 5: Ilka Tegeler (Projekt Manager), Ingo Brinkmann, Reto Killer
House 1: Esther Righetti, Marius Baumann, Stine Henckel Schultz, Hiroaki Tanaka

Total Contractor House 1: Karl Steiner AG, Zurich
House 2 & 3: HRS Real Estate AG, Zurich
House 5: AG, Zurich

Landscape Architecture Schweingruber Zulauf, Zurich

Structural Engineer House 1 & 5: Dr. Lüchinger + Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich
House 2 & 3: Synaxis AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer House 1 & 5: Elkom Partner AG, Chur
Haus 2 & 3: R+B engineering AG, Zurich

Building Services Engineer HL Technik, Schaffhausen

Building Physics Engineer Wichser Akustik & Bauphysik AG, Zurich

Colours Harald F. Müller, Öhningen, Germany

Photos House 1: © Lucas Peters
House 2, 3, 5: © Thies Wachter

House 1

House 2 and 3

House 5

Würth Haus Rorschach

A greenish crystalline building responds to the unusual location of the site, set between the edge of Lake Constance and Churerstrasse. Walkers and passers-by experience a glass structure that oscillates between transparency and shiny reflective surfaces that multiply the natural beauty of the setting. The architecture affords views out to the surroundings, glimpses into the building, and sightlines through it to the park and lake.

The interior offers staff and visitors generously proportioned sequences of rooms - workspaces, communication areas, and leisure zones - as well as providing space for product presentations and art exhibitions. The structure responds to the train station building with lower volumes and reacts to the expanses of the park and lake with a higher segment. There are plans to add an extension on the eastern side in a future phase of construction. Toward the street, the volumes give shape to a range of external spaces through precisely defined projections and setbacks: in the middle is the entrance area, to the east the vehicle access and workshop zone, and to the west Bahnhofsplatz, the station square, which is expanded toward the lake. Maple trees set in a perpendicular configuration characterize this space, and also continue as rows along Churerstrasse.

Approaching from the station, a broad canopy signals the main entrance. The various user groups - visitors, people attending courses, and company staff - enter the building through a large lobby and are guided from this point to the different parts of the building. On the ground floor and first floor, the public functions - training and conference rooms, as well as the restaurant - are grouped around a foyer with an open courtyard in the center and are linked by a sweeping stairway. Both the conference area and the separate exhibition spaces can be accessed directly from the exterior, allowing the option of using these areas independently from the rest of the building. The exhibition area guides visitors from the entrance to two different-sized exhibition rooms, which are located on the first floor of the southern part of the building and are naturally lit from above. The structure of the shed skylight over the exhibition spaces simultaneously supports the enormous projecting canopy over the entrance. Office space extends over four stories in the highest part of the building, which is not open to the general public. Informal meeting areas with balconies facing the lake, transparent or closed-off meeting rooms, and individual offices alternate here with open-plan office areas.

A double glass envelope encases the building. The inner layer is made up of triple glazing and metal-clad thermal insulation. The external, back-ventilated layer is composed of offset greenish glass panes equipped with a fine mesh insert with a metallic luster. This creates a rhythmically articulated glass curtain that provides protection against wind from the lake and noise from the street and also against excessive heat and cold. The predominance of glass in the building materials is continued on the roof in the form of CIS photovoltaic panels.

Location Rorschach, Switzerland

Programme Administration Building with Training and Conference Centre, 630-seat auditorium, museum, restaurant, cafeteria, hardware-shop, workshops

Competition 2009, 1st Prize

Planning/Construction 2009–2013

Client Würth International AG, Chur
Owner's representative: Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG, Chur

Gross Floor Area 32'200 m2

Team G/G Planning/Construction: Christian Maggioni (Team Manager), Matthias Clivio (Project Manager), Nicolai Rünzi, Christoph Lay, Katja Fröhlich, Rus Carnicero, Yvonne Grunwald, Martin Schneider, Michael Kloiber, Brigitte Rüdel, Franziska Bächer
Competition: Luisa Wittgen, Nicolai Rünzi, Bettina Gerhold, Thomas Möckel, Matthias Clivio

Site Management Walter Dietsche Baumanagement AG, Chur

Landscape Architecture Atelier Girot, Gockhausen

Structural Engineer Dr. Lüchinger Meyer Bauingenieure AG, Zurich

Electrical Engineer Bühler + Scherler AG, St.Gallen

Building Services Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Building Physics Engineer Kopitsis Bauphysik AG, Wohlen

Fire Safety Makiol + Wiederkehr, Beinwil am See

MSRL Boxler MSRL Engineering, Jona

Ventilation Engineer Waldhauser Haustechnik AG, Basel

Acoustical Engineer Müller-BBM GmbH, Planegg, Germany

Daylighting Consultant Institut für Tageslichttechnik Stuttgart, Germany

Lighting Consultant Licht Zentrale, Nürnberg, Germany

Plumbing Tomaschett + Cioce AG, Rorschach

Facade Reba Fassadentechnik AG, Chur

Signage Trix Wetter, Zurich

Colours (partial) Harald F. Müller, Oehningen, Germany

Photos © Thies Wachter
© Shinkenchiku-sha, Tokyo

Address Churerstrasse 10, CH – 9400 Rorschach